Hunger in Massachusetts and food insecurity is a complex issue that affects countless families and demands attention and action.
Project Bread is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the problems of hunger and food insecurity.
Established in 1984, its primary mission is to alleviate hunger and improve access to food for individuals and families in need.
This organization operates through various initiatives, programs and partnerships to combat hunger.
It has recently embarked on an innovative initiative that seeks to amplify the voices of those who have experienced food insecurity.
Inviting Those Who Have Experienced Food Insecurity
Food insecurity remains a pressing concern across the country, even in affluent states like Massachusetts.
In the midst of this situation, Project Bread has stepped forward by launching a call for proposals to create The Council of People Who Have Experienced Food Insecurity.
It is a unique effort aimed at tackling the problem from a new angle.
By inviting those who have experienced food insecurity to the decision-making table, Project Bread is working to bridge the gap between policy and reality.
Hunger in Massachusetts: Council of experts with first-hand experience
The Council aims to bring together people who have first-hand experience with food insecurity.
Its basis lies in recognizing that policies affecting hunger are often shaped by people distant from the problem.
The Council seeks to remedy this by drawing in those with lived experience.
This empowers them not only to advocate for change, but also to actively shape policies that can alter the course of countless lives.
Catalina López: A Catalyst for Change
During “La Hora del Café”, an invitation was extended to Catalina Lopez, Project Bread’s Vice President of Engagement, to speak about a new initiative and its anticipated impact.
López has over a decade of experience in addressing food access barriers, especially within communities disproportionately affected by food insecurity.
What Is This Council About?
CL: This Council is a gathering of people who have first-hand experience with food insecurity.
Its importance lies in the fact that we need these people to provide insights that can guide our work.
We are very aware of the problem of food insecurity, where people lack access to food.
Much of this problem stems from decisions made by outsiders who have established programs, regulations and laws.
Project Bread aims to create a state where hunger is eradicated in Massachusetts, and we seek informed voices to guide us toward effective solutions.
Are You Looking For Latinos to Be Part of This Council?
CL: We are actively seeking people from diverse backgrounds, including Latinos, to serve on this council.
What is crucial is their life experiences rather than their backgrounds.
We are looking for those who have faced uncertainty about their next meal, who have relied on food assistance programs or street food to survive.
These are the voices we intend to include in our council’s deliberations.
Our appeal extends to all who have faced hunger, regardless of their background.
Is This a Volunteer Role?
CL: No, we recognize the value of everyone’s time, expertise and knowledge.
Those who contribute to the council will be compensated at the rate of $26 per hour, with a commitment of at least 10 hours per month over a 10-month span.
Our goal is not only to gather information, but also to actively engage board members in developing results and programs.
We are dedicated to enhancing the leadership skills of board members, empowering them to advocate effectively and contribute to the community.
What Are The Requirements to Apply?
CL: We are looking for 8 to 10 people to form the board, we invite you to apply if:
- You are 17 years of age or older.
- You live in Massachusetts.
- You have experienced food insecurity in the past or are currently experiencing food insecurity.
- You are ready to use your lived experience to inform solutions to prevent hunger and make it easier for others living in Massachusetts to access and afford food with dignity.
- You want to develop skills to excel as an effective advocate and community leader in working to solve hunger.
How Long Is The Call for Applications Open and Where Can They Complete the Application?
The call for applications is open until August 29th and interested applicants can complete their application in Spanish on the Project Bread website.
Hunger in Massachusetts: Benefits of the Initiative
The Council for People Who Have Experienced Food Insecurity presents a multitude of benefits that impact the community.
The inclusion of those who have experienced food insecurity firsthand ensures that policies and programs are based on real-world perspectives.
These insights provide a level of authenticity and depth that can have a major impact on the effectiveness of hunger relief efforts.
Empowerment and Compensation
By offering compensation, Project Bread recognizes the value of participants’ time and expertise.
This empowerment encourages board members to take an active role in formulating policy and promoting change, knowing that their efforts are valuable and have an impact.
Leadership and Skills Development
The initiative aims not only to gather information, but also to foster leadership skills among council members.
By providing training and skills development opportunities, Project Bread enables participants to become effective advocates not only within the council but also in their communities.
For more information visit the Project Bread table.