Hunger—it never takes a holiday. In one of the world’s wealthiest countries, the number of food-insecure is staggering. In Massachusetts alone, there was “an overall increase in food insecurity of 55% from 2019 to 2020” according to a new survey conducted by The Greater Boston Food Bank that was released in May 2021. As the pandemic surged, and surged, and surged again, the numbers of those needing food surged as well.
The need for wholesome, nutritious meals to feed the hungry has been a challenge for years. Nourishing the body also nourishes our brain and cognitive function and ultimately nourishes our soul. We are fortunate to live in an area where many people are committed to the fight against hunger. Private-Public partnerships, nonprofits, think tanks, community leaders, and concerned citizens all take on this battle to put food in the mouths of many. Equally important is educating our communities that food insecurity is real and that by nourishing others we also nourish ourselves and the cities and towns we live in.
Working together, local farms provide fresh produce for food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens. Nonprofit collaboratives partner with area schools to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner programs to children who are food insecure. And schools are also giving their students hands-on instruction on sustainability by growing fruits and vegetables both on and off campus. A single citizen can go from handing out soup to the homeless to offering heartier meals like barbecue, and help clothe the recipients in the colder months. In addition, local corporations and supermarkets play an integral role in these partnerships, providing products, research, and funds that make innovative and at times life-saving programs available for those who need them. So many in Southeastern Massachusetts are committed to addressing food insecurity and nourishing the lives of our neighbors.
While many think of the food insecure around the holidays, hunger is a year-round challenge. It is important to look past this time of year and remember that our neighbors and communities need our support 365 days a year. We hope that the Fall issue will inspire you and give you ideas on how to help a neighbor in need or get involved with an organization that nourishes the lives of others. It is through these grassroots efforts that we can take steps closer to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry.
Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor
Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart
Find the Autumn issue here in September 2021