By Paul Mina, UWTC President & CEO
No matter where you live, hunger effects every community. It’s sometimes hidden, but as our state continues to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger is an issue that is both growing and gaining visibility.
Right here in Massachusetts, 1 in 7 people now struggles with hunger (1 in 11 pre-COVID). Their faces might not be what you first imagine. People who have unexpectedly lost their income and can’t make ends meet. People who whose work hours have been reduced. Older people who live on fixed retirement incomes. Children who get free meals during the school year. People who are your neighbors, who you meet in the community, or who are your friends.
In September we observe Hunger Action Month, a month when people across the United States stand together and take action to fight hunger. But you might wonder, “What can I do to make a difference?” Here are four actions you can take this month to help people in need in our community:
1. Donate – for every dollar you donate, we are able to purchase $4 worth of nutritious food.
2. Volunteer – Volunteers are the backbone of the United Way.
3. Hold a Food Drive – as your friends, neighbors, or coworkers to donate non-perishable food items to keep food pantry shelves full. Call 508-370-4800 to schedule a drop off.
4. Register for the Jack’s Abby United Way Virtual 5k – Get out and get moving! Your registration fee will support a United Way food pantry of your choice.
At the United Way of Tri-County, we work hard to help people meet their basic need for food by providing three food pantries where area residents can pick up monthly groceries and two community meal programs serving hot, nutritious meals. We work with a strong network of partners from food banks, retail grocery stores, restaurants, and food distributors to procure food donations for people who need some extra help keeping food on their tables.
By helping individuals and families get enough food for three meals a day, every day, we’re building communities where everyone thrives. With access to nutritious food, children succeed in school, adults make valuable contributions to the workforce, and older adults maintain healthy, independent lives.