Legislators and community partners representing our region will be part of a virtual panel discussion on June 8, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will share information about resources available for food insecure families and individuals, and policies and solutions that can help decrease food insecurity in Hampshire- Franklin counties and throughout the state. Panelists will include State Representatives Mindy Domb, Natalie Blais, Lindsay Sabadosa, and Jake Oliviera, and State Senator Jo Comerford. Also participating will be Carleen Basler, Program Director for the Amherst Survival Center, and Kirsten Levitt, Director of Stone Soup in Greenfield. Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls member Laura Sylvester, who is also thePolicy Manager ofThe Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, will moderate the event.
Congressperson Jim McGovern says, “Too many people think that America’s hunger crisis is the result of some kind of scarcity or lack of food — but nothing could be further from the truth. America is a land of abundance. Billions of dollars’ worth of goods goes to waste in this country every single year, yet nearly 40 million Americans, including one in eight children in Massachusetts, do not know where their next meal is going to come from. The truth is that we have the food, the ability, and the means to end hunger in America — what we lack is the political will and moral courage to act.”
In Western Mass., the projected overall food insecurity rate for 2021 is 11 percent of the population, or almost 100,000 individuals (99,890). This translates into one in eight individuals. This is a 22 percent increase over 2019 ( pre-pandemic) and 1 percent higher than the statewide rate. The projected child food insecurity rate in Western Mass. for 2021 is 15 percent, or almost 27,000 children (26,830). This translates into one in six children. This is a 30 percent increase over 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 3 percent higher than the statewide rate.
To register and to receive login information to this virtual event, contact the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (firstname.lastname@example.org) . This event will also be broadcast live over Facebook on the Commission’s Facebook page.