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THE HIGHER Boston Food Bank is weathering an ideal storm of crises, but hope is around the corner


“It truly is a matter, for a lot of, of life and death.”

THE HIGHER Boston Food Bank CEO Catherine D’Amato. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe, File

The conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent rates of inflation are causing an intersection of incredible headwinds with regards to food insecurity, says Catherine DAmato, CEO of the higher Boston Food Bank.

Coupled with supply chain disruptions and an agriculture industry influenced by climate change, an ideal storm, of sorts, has been designed for people battling food insecurity, and the numbers reflect that.

GBFB discovered that in 2021, 1 in 3 adults in Massachusetts experienced food insecurity.

That statistic originates from a report GBFB conducted because of their second annual report on food insecurity, equity, and access in Massachusetts. The business also discovered that food insecurity rates were highest among Latinx adults, Black adults, LGBTQ+ adults, and adults with children.

Within an interview with, DAmato called the rate remarkable.

The CEO said the survey was shocking because while a rise in food insecurity because of the pandemic was expected, the sustained levels weren’t anticipated.

[I] thought i would visit a decline, that things would begin to level out as people returned to work, she said. That hasnt happened.

GBFB serves 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts, supplying about 600 local organizations food pantries, community meal programs, shelters, daycares with a number of foods.

Think about us as a supplier to nonprofit organizations on leading lines, DAmato said.

In accordance with nonprofits report, from 2020 to 2021, Massachusetts saw enrollment in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) among food insecure adults increase from 46 to 55 percent. Food pantry use increased from 32 percent in 2020 to 46 percent in 2021 on the list of same group.

Despite the fact that GBFB is doubly challenged by inflation it creates the necessity greater and the expenses of meeting that demand higher and the ongoing other factors, DAmato said they remain focused on their mission.

The historic degree of food insecurity coincides with the White Houses Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, that is being held for the very first time since 1969, in September. The mission of the conference, half of a century following the first and only other one, would be to end hunger and increase healthy eating and exercise by 2030.

DAmato is serving on a national task force that’s attempting to inform the goals of the White House Conference. She said the duty force will publish a written report with recommendations that needs to be released in early August.

The hope is that the recommendations that will come during that conference will undoubtedly be meaningful and beneficial to inform how exactly to assist people coping with food insecurity, DAmato said.

Within the conference, the Biden administration is having each cabinet member think about actions they are able to ingest their area (whether transportation, housing, veterans, labor, etc) to advance food security.

Regardless of what, its likely to be considered a positive outcome, and I really believe that the input that Ive seen from in the united states has been fascinating, DAmato said. Im pleased that its happening in my own time and that people can have an impact and create some change at the federal level, that is like molasses very slow.

Despite what you can do at the national level, DAmato said food security must remain a significant portion of the public health platform in Massachusetts.

We are in need of visitors to stand together and support food programs at their local food bank or their local pantry, also to advocate for programs both at hawaii and federal levels, DAmato said. It truly is a matter, for a lot of, of life and death.

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