Showing posts with label food insecurity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food insecurity. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Ending Hunger in Massachusetts - Forum scheduled for Wednesday, January 25

As the costs for basic necessities rise, more Massachusetts residents living on the economic margins must choose between buying groceries and paying for housing, transportation, childcare and other basic utilities. It's a dilemma that plays out in hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts households every day. Hunger and access to proper nutrition remain pervasive, with nearly 1 in 3 adults experiencing food insecurity in Massachusetts in 2021, an increase from 2020. Hunger in Massachusetts is significantly higher among Black and Latinx populations, and visits to local food pantries have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Food insecurity rates among Massachusetts college students, seniors, and immigrants also remain surprisingly high. The issue of food insecurity recently gathered national leaders at a historic White House Conference – 50 years in the making – on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health where a national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease in America by 2030.

Now, leaders across the Commonwealth are convening and building a framework, drawing on the expertise spearheaded and piloted here, to advance our state's food security by 2030 as well. Join a State House News Service/MASSterList forum featuring leaders, advocates, and experts for a discussion of opportunities and obstacles for Massachusetts to advance this national strategy across the Commonwealth.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Dylan Rossiter:
Wednesday, January 25 | 8:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. | MCLE Boston (Downtown Crossing) | Doors open for light refreshments and networking at 7:30 a.m.
Keynote Remarks (taped)
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. — Networking and light refreshments

8:30 - 8:45 a.m. — Keynote remarks from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (taped)

8:45 - 9:45 a.m. — Panel discussion
  • Catherine D'Amato, The Greater Boston Food Bank President and CEO
  • Erin McAleer, Project Bread President and CEO
  • Sen. Jo Comerford, Co-Chair, MA Food System Caucus
  • Rep. Hannah Kane, Co-Chair, MA Food System Caucus
supporting organizations
About Fresh, Children's Health Watch, Community Servings, Daily Table, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Food Bank of Western MA, MA Food System Collaborative, Mass General Brigham, Mass Law Reform Institute, Stone Soup Café, Worcester County Food Bank

Affiliated News Services, LLC | 568 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482
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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Franklin Food Pantry busy this season serving our neighbors and getting ready for the new building

We hope you are having a happy and healthy holiday season! The Pantry is very busy with Holiday Distributions, Turkey Trot, Food Elves and getting our new home ready for our neighbors!

While Franklin is considered an idyllic residential setting, it is not immune from food insecurity. Almost 10 percent of Franklin's residents aren't sure where their next meal will come from. This isn't happening to someone else in Franklin, 

it is happening to us

rendering of the New Franklin Food Pantry
rendering of the New Franklin Food Pantry

The Franklin Food Pantry distributed 26,292 bags of groceries last year to more than 1,100 people in more than 500 households. Many of our neighbors shopped more than twice per month in order to make ends meet. Demand for our services has grown from 150 households per week to more than 180 households per week in the last few months. Franklin Food Pantry's FY2022 statistics show just how much work there is to do and how prevalent food insecurity is in our area.

The Pantry has been fortunate to enjoy our current space for the last 13 years, thanks to the generosity of Rockland Trust. However, we have outgrown our space and cannot expand our programs and services to accommodate the increasing need. The Pantry purchased the Edwin's building at 341 West Central St. and you may be wondering exactly why we need this building.  

It's not about the building, 
it's about what we will do in the building! 

In our new space, we will: 
  • Preserve human dignity with private client meeting rooms. 
  • Expand programs and services through partnership and collaboration. 
  • Create a warm and welcoming space that honors local history. 
  • Increase the client shopping area offering more food and product choices. 
  • Increase community engagement through workshops and trainings. 
  • Ensure safety and ADA compliance with accessible walkways and interior lift 
  • Grow our weekend backpack program and increase mobile pantry sites. 
  • Save time and money with thoughtful and cost-effective design. 
We can't do this without support from YOU – please look for information about how you can contribute to The Pantry's Campaign in the coming months or contact Marsha Tait at for more information.

YOU have the power to create a better 
community for everyone by contributing to 
The Pantry's campaign: 

The New Franklin Food Pantry: 
Nourishing Neighbors, Building Community 

Updates for the new Franklin Food Pantry Building  can be found online ->

Thursday, November 24, 2022

"Best by", "Sell by", "Use by" – Oh my!

"On average, the U.S. wastes an estimated 125 to 160 billion pounds of food each year . And where does it all end up? In a landfill, where it’s buried under mounds of toxic trash and eventually breaks down and emits methane . We bury so much organic waste that landfills are now the third-largest source  of climate-damaging methane emissions in the U.S.

But the environmental impacts of food waste don’t end there. By wasting food, we deplete precious resources, like water. In fact, agriculture in the U.S. accounts for about 80% to 90% of the nation’s water consumption . On top of that, when bad market conditions lead farmers to toss edible food aside or when sold foods go uneaten, all the resources that went into producing those crops are squandered. There’s also a massive economic downside to throwing away uneaten food, adding up to approximately $218 billion a year  in the U.S.

So, how did we start throwing out so much food? Well, several factors play into our increasing wastefulness. Here, we break down the components leading us to toss our food and offer solutions that can help solve our food waste problem."
Continue reading the article online ->

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Invisible People TV: "How Perceptions About Rising Crime Rates Affect Homeless People"

"Americans fear for their safety now more than ever. A recent Gallup poll showed fifty-six percent of Americans, which is a record high, believe local crime has risen in their area this year. Seventy-eight percent believe crime is up nationally, which is tied with 2020 when crime truly was significantly higher than average.

There are a few specific types of crimes Americans fear falling victim to more than in previous years. The highest is fear of a child being harmed in school. Next are fears of getting mugged, being attacked while driving, being sexually assaulted, and being murdered. Except for being attacked while driving, all of these fears increased among city dwellers, as opposed to suburban- or rural dwellers.

What we can conclude from this data is that people, especially in urban areas, are a lot more afraid of random attacks than before. It’s not difficult to imagine why, with the increased buzz around violent crimes such as school shootings and random stabbings. We all seem to be a little more aware of our surroundings.

But there are a couple of important points we need to keep in mind:
  1. What we see reported is not always a reflection of reality.
  2. Our fear can have harmful consequences if we aren’t careful."
Continue reading the article online at Invisible People TV

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Invisible People TV: "Veteran Homelessness: The War is Far from Over"

"Midterm election season has come to a close. Would-be leaders have engaged in heated debates. Maps of the United States have been posted online, stenciled, and colored in patriotic hues, the country taking on its patchwork of differing political opinions by presenting it to the public as a digital, color-coded pictogram.

Still, this is only part of the story.

As political ads fade back into the background and newly elected leaders take their posts, many of the diplomatic talking points that drove those campaigns will also dissipate, lost in the sea of social justice hashtags.

One of the biggest debates to take center stage in major metropolitan areas was homelessness. The discussion has captivated public interest in the wake of skyrocketing rents, astronomical housing prices, and unprecedented inflation levels. While the subjects of shelter beds, sweeps, and supportive housing fueled fiery discord across party lines, whether any of those words will give way to action remains a lingering hope yet to be seen."
Continue reading the article online at Invisible People TV ->

Credit Image: © Kenneth Martin/ZUMA Wire
Credit Image: © Kenneth Martin/ZUMA Wire

Monday, November 21, 2022

Invisible People TV: "How is Poverty on the Decline, Yet Homelessness is Increasing?"

"In a September 2022 article, the New York Times writes poverty levels are plummeting. Census data supports this conclusion according to their 2021 census titled Poverty in the United States.

This would seem like celebratory news at first glance. Yet, even as poverty is plunging, homelessness is increasing. How is this possible?

If poverty levels are dropping, doesn’t that mean homelessness should be getting better? The complicated answer only raises more questions.

The Intrinsic Link between Homelessness and Poverty Perpetuates a Vicious Cycle 
Poverty is the third-leading cause of homelessness in the U.S. The first two leading causes – a lack of affordable housing and unemployment – are also tied to poverty. However, they are not quite the same. Let us first look at the prospect of poverty and how it is measured, quantified, and defined."
Continue reading the article online at Invisible People TV ->  

Credit Image: © Jon G. Fuller/VW Pics via ZUMA Press Wire
Credit Image: © Jon G. Fuller/VW Pics via ZUMA Press Wire

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Challenged to bring food home, or to meet your mortgage payment, there is help

Food Pantry's can help 

"Nearly a third of Massachusetts adults are struggling to get enough to eat as the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to batter household budgets.

At least 1.8 million people — or 32 percent of the state’s adult population — are food-insecure, a new survey from the Greater Boston Food Bank found. The burden lies most heavily on Black and Latinx communities and families with children.

It’s “a frightening statistic,” said GBFB CEO Catherine D’Amato. “We’ve worked with much better numbers in years past.”
Continue reading the Boston Globe article online 

Mortgage Assistance
As day-to-day administrators & marketers of MA's Homeowner Assistance Fund, MHP & know spreading the word is key to helping people who need mortgage help due to #COVID-19. The wrote about #MassHAF.  
Please share. #housingassistance
meet your mortgage payment, there is help
meet your mortgage payment, there is help

Shared from Twitter ->

Saturday, May 21, 2022

"We urgently need to diversify global food production"

"For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesn’t bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

Many people assume that the food crisis was caused by a combination of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. While these are important factors, they aggravate an underlying problem. For years, it looked as if hunger was heading for extinction. The number of undernourished people fell from 811 million in 2005 to 607 million in 2014. But in 2015, the trend began to turn. Hunger has been rising ever since: to 650 million in 2019, and back to 811 million in 2020. This year is likely to be much worse. "

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Illustration: Eva Bee/The Guardian
Illustration: Eva Bee/The Guardian

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Franklin Food Pantry Purchases Building to Expand Programming

Edwin’s Building to be new site of the Franklin Food Pantry 

The Franklin  Food Pantry has purchased a new building to better serve its neighbors. The building, formerly known as Edwin’s, is located at 341 West Central Street and will undergo renovations to convert it into a functional, accessible and expanded Pantry. 

In April of 2020, the Pantry purchased 138 East Central Street to serve as a new location for its operations. After almost 18 months of work, the Pantry concluded that while 138 East Central was a viable option for pre-pandemic operations, Covid-19 so drastically changed operations and programming that the property no longer fully met the Pantry’s neighbors’ needs. The Pantry sold 138 East Central Street in late 2021.  Simultaneously, the Pantry identified Edwin’s as a new relocation opportunity.  After detailed due diligence evaluating the feasibility of the property for its operations, the Franklin Food Pantry Board, on the recommendation of senior staff and the Pantry Building Committee, moved forward with the purchase of 341 West Central Street. The Pantry will use a variety of funding sources to purchase, renovate, and operate the building including grants, state funding, Board restricted funds and private donations specifically restricted for the new building. 

“This new building gives us an opportunity to continue the innovative programs we created during the Pandemic to better serve our neighbors. We are thrilled to honor Jean and Edwin Aldrich by continuing their legacy of connecting with and enriching our community,” said Tina Powderly, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “Through the generosity of our Board members and close friends, the hard work of our Building Committee and staff, and community members like Representative Jeff Roy who secured funding in the state budget for our new building, we will more fully meet our vision. The new building will have a larger and more accessible space that we will renovate to best fit our unique programs, especially those  developed over the past two years.”  

These unique programs increase access to healthy food and related services that support needs arising out of food insecurity:  

  • Three simultaneous distribution models (curbside, in-person, and home delivery) to maximize access and options for neighbors in various circumstances  
  • Onsite farmer’s market to provide access to healthy fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs  
  • Three holiday meal kits during the summer, at Thanksgiving, and during year-end holidays that neighbors can customize to their own family traditions  
  • In-person office hours to assist neighbors to access support for their everyday challenges   

341 West Central Street will provide ample and accessible parking, warehouse, shopping and community spaces needed to continue these programs as well as launch additional services to meet the neighbors’ growing and changing needs. The new site will be designed with increased accessibility, confidentiality, safety and comfort and with flexibility to grow additional programs and expand community partnerships.  Together, all of these pieces will better fulfill  the Pantry’s vision of building a community in which everyone in need has an improved quality of life through nutritious food and supportive resources.  

Renovations should begin later this year. In the meantime, The Pantry will continue to operate at its current location and appreciates the continued support of Rockland Trust. 

About the Franklin Food Pantry 

The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to almost 1,100 individuals per year. The Franklin Food Pantry is not funded by the Town  of Franklin. As a private, nonprofit organization, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other strategic partners. 
We are grateful for our many partnerships, including that with the Greater Boston Food Bank, that allow us to  achieve greater buying power and lower our costs. Donations and grants fund our food purchases, keep our lights on, and put gas in our food truck. Other programs include home delivery, Weekend Backpack Program for Franklin school children in need, mobile pantry,  emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. 
The Pantry is located at 43 W. Central St. in Franklin on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station. Visit for more information. 


Edwin’s Building to be new site of the Franklin Food Pantry
Edwin’s Building to be new site of the Franklin Food Pantry 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Topic: 001 - Tina Powderly - Franklin Food Pantry (audio)

Introducing The Topic, a new podcast from the Town of Franklin Health Department. Health Director Cathleen Liberty talks about food insecurity with Franklin Food Pantry Executive Director Tina Powderly.

001 - Tina Powderly - Franklin Food Pantry

Franklin Food Pantry website -> 

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( 

For additional information, please visit  the Health Dept. page at   

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at 

The music for the intro and exit is called “Positive and Fun” by Scott Holmes Music and is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License  

Scott Holmes Music =>

You can also subscribe and listen to TheTopic audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "TheTopic" 

Audio link =>

This will be broadcast on on Wednesday at 9:00 AM/ 12:00 PM /6:00 PM, repeating again on Saturday at 9:00 AM

The Topic: 001 - Tina Powderly - Franklin Food Pantry (audio)
The Topic: 001 - Tina Powderly - Franklin Food Pantry (audio)

Monday, September 20, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: "Listen to what food insecure people say they need"

"NEARLY 20 PERCENT of Massachusetts households struggle to access food — a number that has more than doubled during the pandemic. It’s a serious and growing issue, and there’s no shortage of proposed solutions. But to address this problem, we must first properly diagnose it, and there’s one group of people who know better than anyone how to improve food support systems: people who are themselves food insecure. So we asked them. And the results were clear and consistent.

In a survey of over 500 food insecure people across Massachusetts, two common themes emerged: proximity and choice. Across all demographics, those struggling to provide fresh, healthy food for themselves and their families pointed to these same two areas when asked how they could better be served by our food aid systems. By trusting people, bringing food directly to those who need it, and by giving them the freedom and agency to select food they will actually eat, we can build a more effective model for addressing food insecurity."

Continue reading the article online

Direct link to MassInc Survey results
Editors Note: This report reinforces the approach the Franklin Food Pantry has taken in addressing our local needs. Yes, there was a change in their plans for the new building but it shows the courage that the Food Pantry had in acknowledging the change in circumstances. Their plans for the 138 West Central building were underway pre-pandemic, and the pandemic affected the delivery model the Food Pantry used, hence the building would not have meet the future needs of the Pantry clients. As a former Board member and regular financial backer of the Food Pantry, I wholeheartedly endorse their approach.

MassInc Survey results
MassInc Survey results

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

"Food insecurity is a silent problem"

"The number of Massachusetts households lacking enough food to get by doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study from Project Bread.

More than half a million residents, more than a quarter of them children, who are eligible for SNAP, or food stamps, don’t receive benefits for the nation’s No. 1 anti-hunger program, according to the research by Project Bread, a Boston nonprofit that works to end hunger in the state.

“The cycle of hunger, it definitely is real,” said Erin McAleer, president and CEO of Project Bread, which surveyed more than 800 Boston residents in partnership with the city’s Office of Food Access and UMass Boston’s Center for Survey Research."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Direct link to the Project Bread study updated in Aug 2021

"Food insecurity is a silent problem"
"Food insecurity is a silent problem"

A related article from The Washington Post based upon census data
"Hunger around America is improving, compared with a month ago, according to the most recent U.S. census data. But food insecurity has a long way to go before returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Self-reported food insecurity for the week ending Aug. 2 was at its lowest levels since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for households with children, according to the census data. That dovetails with strong jobs numbers, stronger economic growth and other bright spots in the economic recovery.

But food stamps enrollment is still way up, 2 million more than last year and 6 million more than in 2019. And food banks are still seeing dramatically more need than during pre-pandemic times." 
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Washington Post: "Booming business at dollar stores"

"A growing number of Americans are relying on dollar stores for everyday needs, especially groceries, as the coronavirus pandemic drags into its 18th month. Chains such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree are reporting blockbuster sales and profits, and proliferating so quickly that some U.S. cities want to limit their growth. The 1,650 dollar stores expected to open this year represent nearly half of all new national retail openings, according to Coresight Research.

Foot traffic at the largest such chain, Dollar General, is up 32 percent from pre-pandemic levels, far outpacing the 3 percent increase at Walmart, one of the few retail winners of last year, according to, which analyzes shopping patterns using location data from 30 million devices."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

A shopper pushes a cart through Family Dollar in Chicago. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)
A shopper pushes a cart through Family Dollar in Chicago. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)

Monday, August 9, 2021

Spier Family Kindness For Kids 5K & Kids Run + Family Day - Sep 19

Join us for a great race and family day at the site of so many championships!

Sponsored by the Spier Family and in support of Hockomock Area YMCA Food Access Programs, the annual 5K that hundreds have come to love (formerly called The Foxboro 5K) returns to Patriot Place and will be held Sunday, Sept. 19. Join us!

Food insecurity is a growing concern in the region and, to address this, the Hockomock Y provides free food and meals with no questions asked. We are proud to announce that the annual Hockomock Area YMCA 5K has matured beyond our former route neighboring the Foxboro Y and invite you to run/walk at Patriot Place surrounding Gillette Stadium!

This course and the entire morning of activities will make memories for years to come for all ages and abilities. All proceeds will go to feeding our community. 

More info and link to register at

Spier Family Kindness For Kids 5K & Kids Run + Family Day - Sep 19

Spier Family Kindness For Kids 5K & Kids Run + Family Day - Sep 19