Panel On Food Insecurity In Western Mass, June 8

Photo: Joshua Berson / Creative Commons

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  ( . This event will also be broadcast live over Facebook on the Commission’s Facebook page.

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2 thoughts on “Panel On Food Insecurity In Western Mass, June 8

  1. Thank you for posting this. Food insecurity is an issue that we can and should overcome, here in Western Mass and beyond.

    While living wages, universal health care and universal early child care would eliminate the vast majority of food insecurity, until we as a society have the political will to act, the fact is that our non-profit community fills a huge need. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and its many partner agencies, including in Amherst, the Survival Center, are providing vital, high-nutrition/high-quality food and other services to all who are in need, and they do so with dignity and respect.
    We should, as a society, end food insecurity, but until that day, we should support our local agencies who do so much to “stem the tide” and to “shorten the line.”

  2. Thank you Ms. MacCracken!
    one in 8 adults and one in 6 children in MA means all of us know some of these people. Commodities (USDA grant to farmers) are not as prevalent as in yrs gone by (un-marked cardboard boxes of velveeta like chez, powerded milk, potatoes). People now have the dignity to select , one step better, but still no feminine hygiene, TP, Kleenex, soap, shaving gear, laundry soap, dypers, etc. 11% of our citizens rec SNAP (nation -wide & in MA) but the stores are not where needed. Think global act local – support the Mobil Market
    going to our food deserts, the opening of the cooperative market Common Shares (at an in town location).

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