Know the Facts

On Sunday May 1st, 2016 one of Static Cleans’ own participated in the once 20-mile, now 10-mile Walk for Hunger put on by Project Bread. She walked alongside nearly 40,000 people at the 48th Annual Walk for Hunger in Boston, MA.  As she was walking – she said her mind was racing. Sounds crazy, right? How can you walk and race at the same time?  Seems nearly impossible, doesn’t it? As you start to walk – your minds racing so naturally you want to walk faster to reach the finish line… or at least run to keep up with your thoughts. But that’s impossible to do when as you are walking along the path you read signs that include statistics of the poverty stricken community.

Some of the thoughts that went through her head: There are 9.6% of households in Massachusetts with some level of food insecurity. Of that 9.6%, 5.5% have a low food security and 4.1% have a very low food security. All households with children make up 19.2%.  This means that half  the population of households in Massachusetts that have children are not food secure. Half of them! How is that possible? How can we stop this? What can we do to help? In 2013, 10.6% of households in Massachusetts (nearly 700,000 adults and children) were food insecure. From the years of 2003 to 2013 – the food insecurity rate has gone up by 71%… and hasn’t moved since!

Community Solutions

There are numerous outreach programs available to help the food insecure community. Some of them include CNOP (Child Nutrition Outreach Program); Community Garden – where the community helps to garden land that provides crops; Farmer’s Markets are on the rise; Food Rescue – where fresh food is collected from restaurants and super markets and delivered to community organizations where it’s cooked & distributed; and Gleaning – which is where leftover crops from farmer’s fields can be used as they are not economically profitable to harvest. There are programs in place, but it’s up to us to bring awareness.

As she was walking alongside the nearly 40,000 people – one gentleman, a dad and his son stuck out in particular. How do you explain hunger to a child that barely understands what it means to be hungry because his belly is filled with food; his family is food secure. Well, this father explained that as much as our feet hurt from walking the 10 miles – the bellies of our brothers and sisters hurt, from hunger. Our feet hurt for the 10 miles and maybe the day after, but these men, women and children have hungry (or hurting) bellies every single day. It doesn’t go away.

How to Help

Support comes in many different shapes and sizes. Consider donating to the Walk for Hunger:  Every little bit helps. $25.00 provides a hot meal for fifteen people at a community supper program! (See if your company will match your donation!) Maybe you can’t provide financial support, but you can donate your time to a local shelter to help serve or prepare the food. Or maybe, just maybe you are a large corporation in the food industry that can help donate the food to a local shelter or even to next year’s Walk for Hunger! What better way to help others, support your community and get your name out there at the same time! Let’s walk for Hope… hope that things will be different in the future.

Resources: www.projectbread.org