SFPC Hunger Action Advocate 2023!
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted that as of March 2023, groceries are 11.3% more expensive than they were a year ago. Locally, the food pantry community is ringing the alarm that they are in crisis. In response, the Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council (SFPC) reinstated its weekly emergency food access meetings just like we did throughout the pandemic.
Our regional food pantry leaders are reporting an increased demand for food, while often running out of food before they have served all their guests. In March 2023, Project Bread disclosed that 19.2% of Massachusetts households are food insecure. Food insecurity can look like skipping meals, not knowing where your next meal will come from, relying on less nutritious, inexpensive foods, or having to choose between buying food or paying bills. Food, or more accurately, nutrition insecurity is a hidden epidemic that affects 1 in 3 MA residents, with children being especially impacted.
You Can Help!
Be a Southcoast Food Policy Council Hunger Action Advocate!
Take action in whatever way works best for you, but please do something this month to make a difference in the lives of people struggling to eat daily in Southeastern Massachusetts. Here are some ways you can help:
Food to your local food pantry
- Here is a list of culturally appropriate food to donate to food pantries
- This is a list of food pantries in the region (not inclusive of all)
- United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission list of food pantries
- United Way of Greater Fall River list of food pantries and mobile markets
Farm-to-Food Relief Programs:
- The Marion Institute’s newest program, Frogfoot Farm – Neighbors feeding Neighbors, will grow fresh produce for food relief programs as well as utilize the farm as a base to develop a regional, volunteer gleaning program. Click here to support Frogfoot Farm or contact Rita Higgins for volunteering opportunities.
- A program of the Southcoast YMCA, Sharing the Harvest Community Farm, is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven community farm that was established in 2006 as a grassroots response to hunger at the local level. The farm’s mission is to alleviate hunger, promote volunteerism, and provide agricultural education on the southcoast of Massachusetts. Click here for more.
A CSA-style food box to people in our area through Coastal Foodshed
- Coastal Foodshed is a non-profit food hub that provides an easy way for farmers to sell and consumers to buy local food through their New Bedford Farmers’ Market, Mobile Farm Stand, and Virtual Market. Click here to provide a food box for someone in need.
Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council Members-at-Large.
- Click here to join Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council as a Members-at-Large. You will receive emails updating you on the SFPC, inviting you to participate in events, like the Quarterly Meeting and Food Summit, and act on legislative advocacy.
Become a long term volunteer at a local food pantry
or see if you can drop in to volunteer.
(See the pantry listing above in Donate.)
Take Legislative Action on the Farm Bill at the Congressional Level.
- Urge your US House Member to co-sponsor HR.1510, Improving Access to Nutrition Act, which would end arbitrary time limits on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for specific individuals and allow them access to nutritious foods. ACT NOW!
- Urge your Members of Congress to support priorities put forward by farmers and advocates in the Northeast for the 2023 Farm Bill. This action includes supporting The Opportunities in Organic Act, The Agriculture Resilience Act, Milk from Family Dairies Act, The Justice for Black Farmers Act, The Fair Credit for Farmers Act, and The Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act. ACT NOW!
2023 Virtual Food Summit
- Register for the 2023 Virtual Food Summit: Food Recovery and Food Waste and Its Impact on Climate Change, on Wednesday, October 25, 6:30 – 8 pm.
- Learn more about how food is produced, processed, distributed, recovered and more at the Marion Institute’s Food System Education 101.
- Read the 2021 Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment here and discover strengths, gaps, and challenges in our local food system.