Food Insecurity Across Eastern Mass. at an All-Time High

Published on January 19, 2021

COVID-19 Food Insecurity Projections

One of the most widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many people throughout the country are experiencing food insecurity for the first time. Food insecurity is described when a household is not able to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is a serious matter of public health and it poses an even bigger health threat to our community’s most vulnerable populations.

The most recent Feeding America food insecurity projections show that the state of Massachusetts has seen the greatest percentage increase in food insecurity in the country due to the pandemic, a 59% increase. The Greater Boston Food Bank’s service area of Eastern Massachusetts is seeing an even greater surge in food insecurity, a projected 66% increase in the number of people struggling with access to healthy food so that 1 in 8 individuals are now food insecure in our region.

This problem is even worse for children. The coronavirus has caused food insecurity among children to rise 117% in Eastern Massachusetts so that now 1 in 5 children live in a home that is food insecure. This is the highest percentage increase for a food bank service area in the country!

Projected Food Insecurity Rates

Eastern Massachusetts Massachusetts
Pre COVID-19 (2018) COVID-19 Projection (2020) Pre COVID-19 (2018) COVID-19 Projection (2020)
People 1 in 13 (415,380) 1 in 8 (687,630) 1 in 11 (617,380) 1 in 7 (980,320)
Children 1 in 11 (91,830) 1 in 5 (199,690) 1 in 10 (138,760) 1 in 5 (280,060)


With the surge in coronavirus infection rates and the continued high unemployment in the state, we expect that food insecurity rates will remain high for the foreseeable future. The dedicated team at GBFB and our network of 600 committed food distribution partners is here to help.

Need food assistance? Click here to find a GBFB partner agency in your area. 

To help us continue to meet the rising demand for food, click here to donate.

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