New Study Lays Groundwork for Eliminating Food Insecurity

Published on July 11, 2021

To gauge the impact of the pandemic on hunger in our state, GBFB conducted a survey in partnership with the National Food Access and COVID Research Team, the Hunger to Health Collaboratory and Stop & Shop.

Between October 2020 and January 2021, our researchers engaged with 3,000 residents online and found that 30 percent were experiencing food insecurity. Latinx and Black populations, already affected at higher rates by the COVID-19 crisis, also faced hunger at disproportionate rates, at 58 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

The resulting study also seeks to identify key barriers to food access because, despite the record-breaking need, only 1 in 3 people reported using food pantries. Many of our neighbors felt strongly about remaining self-sufficient. Embarrassment, misunderstandings about qualifications and fear of discrimination also factored into the low resource use rate.

“Food pantries are very helpful when you’re having a hard time. They’re for anyone looking to add food to their house if they can’t afford the grocery store.” –Single mom, Malden

Gaps in Food Access Report

With the support of friends like you, GBFB will put this data to work to address the inequities that lead to food insecurity in our area. We will strive to:

  • Reduce stigma surrounding food pantry use.
  • Connect with communities of color to dispel concerns about discrimination.
  • Collaborate with diverse groups and amplify their voices in all we do.
  • Provide an equity perspective on food distribution and access.

Together, we can ensure every neighbor has access to the nutritious food they need to thrive.

Read the full study online at

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