Current data shows nearly 27,000 children in Western Massachusetts do not have enough food.


At school, all Massachusetts students have access to free school breakfast and lunch. In the summertime, many families must utilize our member food pantries and meal sites to fill the gap.

Donate today to help us meet the demand for summertime food assistance.

Together, We End Hunger

If you have difficulty affording food when your children are out of school, you are not alone. Neither are we.

See our Summer Hunger Support page for available resources from the Food Bank and its partners >

 

Western Massachusetts Has the Highest Rate of Childhood Food Insecurity in the State.

Feeding America data shows that roughly 26,760 children rely on food distributed by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and our partners.

1 in 5 children in our region live below the federal poverty line. This is a staggering number, and it doesn’t even tell the full story; a large number of food insecure households in Western Massachusetts live above the federal poverty limit and still struggle to put enough nutritious food on the table.

One reason is the incredibly high cost of living in the state- the highest in the country for a family of four to live comfortably according to a recent CNBC report. Rent, mortgage payments, heating oil and electric prices, childcare, transportation to and from grocery stores if one is not easily accessible- these add up to create a landscape that families must navigate to make it through the day.

These factors also disproportionately effect single parents, namely Black and Latino single parents. In addition to the added difficulty of operating in a single parent-income, single parents of color are affected by racism personally through things such as employment and wage discrimination, and in the physical landscape of their communities through planning decisions that isolate them from resources like full-service grocery stores and child care.

Your Support Changes Lives.


With every dollar donated, the Food Bank can distribute the equivalent of three meals through its network of food pantries and meal sites.

What Is the Food Bank's Impact on the Community?

We believe in a world where everyone has the right to healthy food. The Food Bank distributed millions of pounds of food last year, and currently serves over 100,000 people each month. While our accomplishments are substantial, the need for nourishment in our communities persists- as does the need for long-term solutions.

The Food Bank tackles the complex, underlying causes of hunger through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach, nutrition education, public awareness, and advocacy. Our Food Assistance Navigators partner with health centers to identify and support those facing food insecurity. Our Food Bank Farms preserve farmland for local farmers and our own Cultivating for Community initiative to grow organic vegetables for households, to educate the public, and to support future farmers.

Aside from donations, how can I support the work of the Food Bank?

Volunteer with the Food Bank

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts relies on the support of our dedicated volunteers for both large events and daily operations. From sorting food in our warehouse, to farm chores on the Cultivating for Community Initiative, there are ways for everyone to get involved. For our more information, visit our Volunteer page!

 

Advocate for Policy Change

Our legislative advocacy work relies on the hard work of everyday residents who voice their support of hunger-relief policy measures at the state and national level. To learn about our current Initiatives, Policy Priorities, and easy ways to Engage with your legislator, visit our Advocacy page.

Conduct a Food Drive or Fundraiser

Another great way to support the Food Bank and its partners is through hosting a Food Drive or Third-Party Event Fundraiser. All food drive hosts are connected with a member food bank or pantry in their region to make sure the food collected can be quickly and efficiently distributed to the community! For our Food Drive and Third-Party Event policies and registration forms, visit this link.

Do you have any learning resources for kids about Food Insecurity and Hunger?