Cooking up help for others

September 2, 2011

 

Cooking up help for others

 

Labor Day Weekend means cookouts and end-of-summer celebrations for many of us, centered on watermelon, whiffle ball games and a sizzling grill.
At the same time, there are over 725,000 residents in Massachusetts who do not have reliable sources of food, that is, they are too poor to afford regular meals – in the field, they are called “food insecure.” Sadly, this figure includes 262,000 children.

What's on your menu for Labor Day Weekend?

According to many sources, the population without access to regular meals has grown exponentially in the past three years, corresponding with the loss of jobs and the economic recession. According to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, 46 million Americans receive food stamps, up from 27 million in 2007.

In 2009, the Greater Boston Food Bank reported that 390,000 people requested food assistance. That number could only rise as the winter heating season draws near; statistics show that families often have to choose between heat and food.

Helping these folks can be as easy as picking up a few extra items at the grocery store and dropping them in donation bins at the door. Others may take the initiative to run a food drive for a local food pantry with the help of a scout troop or sports team. Not everyone is expected to be like these two girls from Westwood, who as children started a turkey drive in their neighborhood that has turned into a major community food donation event each year.
Fortunately, local groceries stores are also pitching in, with Shaw's having received the Greater Boston Food Bank's Food Donor of the Year award in 2010, contributing 1 million pounds of food in fy 2010. The Food Bank then sends donations to 600 hunger relief agencies in the region.

Several organizations across the country are turning the September 11 anniversary, officially our National Day of Service and Remembrance, into an opportunity to stock up food pantries for the fall and winter such as in Dracut and Hull.

For a partial directory of services in the region -- whether you need help or seek to volunteer-- see this list or call the Project Bread hotline.

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Published: Sept. 4, 2011

Author: Sharon Tango

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Word Count: 356

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Article Links

  1. Map the Meal Gap | Food Insecurity in your County
  2. Hunger in America: 2014 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts
  3. BLITZER’S BLOG: Hunger in America growing at staggering pace – ...
  4. The Greater Boston Food Bank | Homepage
  5. The Greater Boston Food Bank | Homepage
  6. Shaws » Page not found
  7. Dracut food drive in memory of 9/11 victims - Lowell ...
  8. 9/11 Day of Service – Page not found
  9. Social services agencies - News - The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, ...
  10. Project Bread hotline