My 2021 Walk for Hunger
I am so excited to begin fundraising for the 2021 Walk for Hunger. This past year has been exceptionally unique and it’s caused many of us to reassess the lives we’ve constructed as they’ve been turned upside by the circumstances of a global pandemic. The almost unavoidable introspection of this year came at an important time for me, graduating from Boston University in Spring 2020 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy, deferring my admission to Boston University School of Law until Fall 2021, and spending my time in between employed as an Operational Support Analyst for FEMA’s Region 1 (New England) COVID-19 Long-Term Recovery Task Force. The COVID-19 circumstances add a layer of considerations about sustainability, resilience, and interdependence during a formative time for me and my career.
The COVID-19 pandemic is, in fact, a warning sign to the entire planet that our current way of life is unsustainable. Climate change is not coming - it’s already here. The pandemic is just one gory instance of the consequences.
Climate change threatens equity and those most vulnerable in our society. Rates of food insecurity have doubled compared to pre-pandemic rates - skyrocketing from 8.4% of households to 17.5%. The shocking 102% increase in food-insecure individuals has had the most impact on the most defenseless demographic: as of November 2020, 21.8% of households containing children were food insecure. The increase has also had a highly unequal impact across racial demographics: as of October 2020, while one in six White households with children were food insecure, the insecurity affected one in three Black households and one in four Latinx households.
Food is a most basic human need. Food fuels children to play, students to learn, and grown-ups to work. Food insecurity prevents people from fully participating in their own lives because they don’t have the fuel to play, learn, work, love, or improve their circumstances.
Two programs provide the bulk of support for food insecure residents of Massachusetts: school meals and the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Project Bread provides statewide support for school meals and hosts a Summer Eats program to support children who rely on school meals when school’s out for summer. Project Bread also leads outreach efforts for SNAP, a program leveraged by roughly one in three food insecure households with children in Massachusetts. SNAP is America’s most effective response to hunger - for every meal a food bank can provide, SNAP can provide nine. Research shows that SNAP reduces poverty and food insecurity, and the long-term impacts include improved health and financial well-being for recipients.
Project Bread understands that the opposite of hungry is not full - it’s healthy. I understand that the solution to food insecurity in Massachusetts is not free food - it’s good policy. Project Bread has historically focused on supporting food banks but has recently undergone a strategic shift to focus more on policy - for example, breaking down the barriers that impede two in three food insecure households with children in Massachusetts from accessing SNAP. Project Bread still supports and develops programs like School Breakfast, Chefs in Schools, and its FoodSource Hotline, but the focus on policy represents an interest in sustainable and resilient infrastructure to help Massachusetts residents meet a most basic need. Also, this September, Project Bread is launching a junior board called the Advisory Council - and I’m a co-chair!
I hope you will consider supporting Project Bread’s essential work by contributing to my fundraiser. The Walk isn’t an in-person gathering this year, but I’ll be walking twenty miles somewhere - it’s the least I can do to demonstrate my gratitude for your generous support.
I miss my sister every day but, today, I am focused on honoring the living.
- Team Captain
- Team Member
- Facebook Fundraiser
- Sent 10+ Emails
- Earned Tshirt
- Received 5+ Gifts
- Received 25+ Gifts
- Raised $50
- Raised $100
- Raised $250
- Raised $500
- Raised $750
- Raised $1500
- Raised $5K
- Raised $10K
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