Marching on Empty Stomachs
Wiping out hunger in Massachusetts isn't quite as simple as mauling a fistful of cheese puffs and calling it a day. Since the economy took a dumpster dive, more and more people in this state can be classified as "hungry," or are anticipating it in the near future. And, no, this doesn't correlate to the decriminalization of marijuana.
"Massachusetts has never had the problem with hunger that the rest of the country has had," says Ellen Parker, the executive director of Project Bread, a state anti-hunger association. "What I think is interesting, in a sad way, is that we've always had people who are too poor to buy food, but now there's a new group of people calling us up — people who have recently lost their jobs and are terrified."
Coming not a moment too soon, before Americans start eating their own arms and the Republicans start blaming President Obama for this wave of cannibalism, is Project Bread's annual fundraiser, the 20-mile Walk for Hunger — to be held this year on May 3. Each spring, the walk raises money to benefit hundreds of local food pantries and emergency food programs, such as the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Rosie's Place, and Catholic Charities (specifically, the Yawkey Center Food Pantry). Parker says that Project Bread hopes to raise $4.3 million via this year's walk, all of which will go toward knocking out this growing socioeconomic problem. And you don't have to bruise your feet to help. Individual walkers (there were about 40,000 in 2008) are sponsored by the mile and aren't shy about soliciting donations.
The 41st annual Walk for Hunger takes place on Sunday, May 3. To learn more, register to participate, make a donation, or sign up to volunteer, visit projectbread.org/walk.
: This Just In
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