Project Bread understands that hunger can't be solved through stop-gap measures. Instead, our work seeks to provide sustainable, scalable solutions that permanently move the needle on ending hunger.
We recognize that communities and people of color are disproportionately impacted by hunger because systemic racism leads to economic inequity and health disparities. As part of our efforts to eradicate hunger, we advocate for both state and federal policy change to expand food access and program eligibility, clarify misconceptions about receiving support, and increase awareness and participation in available programs.
Food is our most basic need. We identify policies that create barriers to people using federal nutrition programs or accessing food, and we advocate for new policies to break those barriers down so that everyone in Massachusetts has enough to eat.
Complete each Action Alert below to elevate our policy priorities this legislative sessions and help break the cycle of hunger.
Congress is debating federal legislation that would increase investments to help our country "Build Back Better", and recover from the pandemic. Some provisions are on the chopping block, urge they keep child nutrition investments in the final budget package!
Ask your legislator to support S.108/H.250: An Act Relative to an Agricultural Healthy Incentives Program which funds HIP to allow SNAP recipients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers.
Urge your legislator to prioritize hunger by supporting H.1290/S.761: An Act to Streamline Access to Critical Public Health and Safety-Net Programs Through Common Applications.
We've joined forces with some of our most influential and dedicated anti-hunger partners and allies to launch the Feed Kids Campaign! A state-level legislative campaign in support of School Meals for All Massachusetts students.
The Feed Kids Coalition—led by Project Bread—and bill sponsors Senator Sal DiDomenico and Representative Andy Vargas have filed legislation for School Meals for All.
Our success comes from our engaged supporters. Sign up to receive action alerts to impact change and hunger policy updates to stay informed, including our biweekly news round-up, The Hunger Advocate.Sign up
Explore the timeline below to see our how our research and advocacy has led to enduring change across the state to permenantly remove barriers to food access and reduce food insecurity in Massachusetts.
Patrick Hughes led the first Walk for Hunger from the Paulist Center in downtown Boston. An estimated 2,000 people walked 29.6 miles, raising $26,000 to help fund two hunger projects. The first pledge walk in the country, the Walk had two purposes: raise funds to help people experiencing hunger and stand together for social justice and social change that would eventually eliminate hunger. This is still true today and continues to be an annual force for change.
Conducted the first evidence-based study of hunger among low-income families in the state in 1991 with the MA Department of Public Health and the MA Anti-Hunger Coalition, called the Childhood Community Hunger Identification Project (CCHIP). The findings of this study led to the creation of the Child Nutrition Outreach Program —a parternship between Project Bread and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to support school meal programs and help children access healthy meals during the school year and summers.
Project Bread sponsored a study, conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, that proved that children who ate breakfast at school were more likely to do well in math, have fewer absences, and require fewer trips to the school nurse. This work led to the bipartisan adoption Universal Breakfast in low-income schools throughout the state, which provides breakfast free of charge to all students regardless of household income.
Piloted a collaboration between state agencies, called the Child Nutrition Access Project, that automatically enrolled children receiving SNAP into the free and reduced-price school meals program, reducing the need for multiple applications. This program is now statewide and enrolls hundreds of thousands of children for free school meals each year.
Teamed up with the MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to launch the state-wide Healthy Incentives Program, which helps low-income housholds use their SNAP benefits to shop at farmer's markets and local vendors to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Project Bread played a critical role in ensuring that the Rise and Shine Coalition’s Breakfast After the Bell legislation — An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell — was successfully passed. Beginning in school year 2022-2023, all students who attend a school in which 60% or more of their students are eligible for free or reduced price school meals will be required to offer breakfast after the bell to all students.
Project Bread was instrumental in the passage of An Act Promoting Student Nutrition, a bill that addresses both the root causes of unpaid meal debt as well as the impact unpaid meal debt has on students — prohibiting schools from certain meal debt collection practices that involves or penalizes the student. Alongside our partners at the MA Law Reform Institute, Project Bread was a champion of this bill, helping draft legislative language, providing data and research, and mobilizing advocates leading to this bill becoming law.