Juliette Lowe ’21 tackles food insecurity in her local community through her initiative, “Nobody Goes Hungry.”
This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants.
Before he walked away, the man turned around, “Thank you, I look forward to this all week.”
He was one of my ‘regulars.’ For the past five or so weeks, he has arrived promptly at 10:30 am on Saturday to the main street storefront where I am handing out my bags. His words filled me with a great sense of joy. Like the man who decided to quit coffee and cigarettes because the healthy food inspired him, or the one who now knew he had food even though his medication was draining his income, Nobody Goes Hungry had provided meaningful support to this man.
Even before the pandemic hit Western Massachusetts, the number of people suffering from food insecurity in Franklin County was staggeringly high – roughly 12% for all citizens but jumping to 20% for children. Since March, this problem has gotten increasingly worse. From the provider’s perspective, there is less food available to feed people and less volunteers able to run the necessary services. At the same time, the unemployment rate in Greenfield has rocked from 2 .4 to 23.2% in less than three months, resulting in more people unable to buy food.
This summer, I am using a combination of donations and a CSGC grant to run my initiative Nobody Goes Hungry. Each week, I purchase items such as canned tuna, unsweetened apple sauce, peanut butter, and whole wheat crackers to create bags of sustainable, nutritious food. The bags aim to include as many daily nutrients as possible, and contain minimal salt, sugar, and saturated fats. One bag is enough food for a day, and none of the items require a kitchen or preparation before consumption. After the bags are made up, I have two outlets for their delivery. On Saturdays, I spend my mornings handing out the food in Greenfield to anyone who comes by and would like one. Additionally, every other Wednesday I give 100 bags to LifePath, where they are delivered as part of the Personal Care Attendant Program. Consumers in this program are usually low income and have “chronic medical conditions and disabilities.”
I am excited to continue Nobody Goes Hungry throughout the summer. My hope is that it guides people through the most difficult period of the pandemic – not only will they be able to rely on healthy food, but they will also know that they are recognized and cared for in a time when many people feel extremely alone. Like many things, food should be, but isn’t, available equally to everyone. I want to be a small part of the change to ensure that no matter who you are, or what situation you are in, you never have to worry about such a basic human right.