GBFB Recaps Successful Hunger Action Month 2023

Published on September 29, 2023

September marks the return to school, the end of summer, and the first few leaves changing colors on trees. At The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), September also marks Hunger Action Month™— Feeding America’s annual nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of hunger in the United States and inspire people to take action. During Hunger Action Month, advocates, supporters, and community leaders across Eastern Massachusetts and the whole United States unite in support of ending hunger in our communities.  

This year, GBFB mobilized support from all our community, from testifying at the State House to advance hunger free campus legislation to supporting our partner agencies in directly distributing nutritious food to our neighbors. And the community responded with a commitment to taking action to end hunger for the one in three people in Massachusetts who face food insecurity – from lighting up iconic Boston landmarks orange to raising funds during WCVB’s annual Day of Giving. Here’s a recap of all we’ve been up to for Hunger Action Month: 

Official Proclamations:

City of Boston ProclamationTeam City ProclamationCheryl GBFB Proclamation

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston both underscored the need to spread awareness through official proclamations in September. The Commonwealth designated September as Hunger Action Month, and the City designated September 15 as Hunger Action Day, a one-day push to catalyze engagement around Hunger Action Month. Thank you to Governor Maura Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, and Mayor Michelle Wu for this powerful gesture and for their commitment to supporting policies that end hunger in the Commonwealth.

9/11 Day of Service

9/11 Day of Service Meal Pack

Volunteers packed 335,000 healthy, non-perishable meals that were distributed to Boston-area families to honor September 11 at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. Boston was one of 18 cities to have a meal-packing day on September 11 in tribute, through service and volunteerism, to victims, first responders, recovery workers, military personnel, and others who answered the call. 

WCVB Day of Giving

WCVB Channel 5 Day of Giving Telethon

On September 20, GBFB collaborated with WCVB to host the 5th annual Day of Giving. Throughout the day, WCVB covered the pressing issue of hunger in Eastern Massachusetts and how GBFB meets the challenge, while community members called in to support, making this the most successful Day of Giving yet! WCVB lifted up stories of how our network is tackling hunger throughout the day and ran a feature to highlight how critical the Farm Bill is to our mission at GBFB. Lucky callers heard from WCVB’s own Ed Harding directly on the line! 

Missed the day? Catch up on all WCVB’s coverage here. 

Hunger-Free Campus Hearing

Hunger Free Campus HearingHunger Free College Coalition with Commissioner

Throughout September, GBFB has been busy on Beacon Hill! Every year, GBFB distributes the equivalent of around 80 million meals to our community. At the same time, GBFB also supports tackling the root causes of hunger while advocating for equitable and sustainable policies that advance our mission to end hunger here. Since 2019, GBFB has been a leader in the MA Hunger-Free Campus Coalition, amplifying student voices and organizing advocacy efforts to pass the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative (S835/H1293) through the Legislature. On September 18, the Coalition testified at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, received remarks from the Commissioner of Higher Education, Noe Ortega, and met with individual legislators in the House and Senate. This bill will support students who face food insecurity, helping them to graduate and contribute to the Commonwealth’s workforce as teachers, scientists, social workers, and more! If you missed the hearing, there’s still time to submit written testimony in support of the Hunger Free Campus Initiative.  

GBFB understands that hunger has a variety of systemic causes, and so advocates for a broad range of public policies that will alleviate food insecurity. In addition to the Hunger Free Campus Initiative, this September, GBFB also joined hearings and provided testimony in favor of:  

  • “An Act relative to the Healthy Incentives Program” (H150/S85) to codify the Healthy Incentives Program that makes fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to SNAP participants by providing a dollar-for-dollar match when purchasing produce. 
  • “An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty” (H144/S95), led by the Lift Our Kids coalition of which GBFB is a member, to raise the minimum financial assistance in the Commonwealth to 50% of the federal poverty level, which will assist families in deep poverty who struggle to make ends meet given the rising costs of living in our state. 
  • “An Act establishing basic needs assistance for Massachusetts immigrant residents” (H135/S76), led by the Feeding Our Neighbors coalition of which GBFB is a member, to restore benefits to legally present immigrants in Massachusetts, including refugees, DACA recipients, victims of violence in their home countries, and other lawful permanent residents who work in and contribute to our communities. 
  • “An Act relative to training tomorrow’s trucking industry workforce” (H3371), to provide grants for trucking education programs, so that those in search of employment can find fulfilling opportunities in trucking and support organizations like GBFB that rely on a dedicated staff of truckers to provide three healthy meals per day across the 190 cities and towns of Eastern Massachusetts. 

Hunger Action Day

On September 15, Hunger Action Day, GBFB and our community partners mobilized to communicate the necessity of action against hunger in Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB team members wore orange virtually and in person! 

GBFB Team Wearing OrangeGBFB Team Wearing Orange Virtually

GBFB team members weren’t the only ones to show off their orange! The city of Boston lit up orange for Hunger Action Day! This powerful show of solidarity demonstrated the will of our community to take on the challenge of ending hunger in Eastern Massachusetts.

Are you in this fight? During and beyond Hunger Action Month, you can advocate, donate, and volunteer with GBFB and make the choice to be a part of the solution to hunger here.  

Boston Harbor Hotel
Boston Harbor Hotel
The Lenox Hotel
The Lenox
Rose Kennedy Greenway in Orange
Rose Kennedy Greenway

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