Summer CSGC Grant Update: Combating Food Insecurity in Massachusetts

As I mentioned in my previous Bulletin post, this summer with the help of a CSGC grant, I have been working to combat issues of food insecurity in the state of Massachusetts where insecurity rates are projected to reach one in 10 persons statewide.

In working towards this goal, I volunteered my time in three main ways. Firstly, I worked with the Foodbank of Western Massachusetts in their endeavor to build two greenhouses at the farm they recently opened. Secondly, I volunteered with a food pantry in Brookline, sorting, packing, and distributing food. And lastly, I baked and distributed goods directly and through Solutions at Work, an organization in Cambridge that provides 60 free meals five evenings a week as one of their services. In total, this project consisted of over 45 hours of work with 23 hours of active volunteering and over 100 baked goods distributed.

This experience was incredibly informative for me as I explored the diverse array of methods available for fighting food insecurity. For example, I have volunteered with the Foodbank of Western Massachusetts before they opened their farm and helped sort foods donated by other farmers. Through volunteering there this summer, I had the opportunity to speak with various people who are working to make the new farm sustainable, accessible, and beneficial for as many community members as possible. This endeavor by the Food Bank exemplifies the new and innovative ways that food banks pursue solutions, and I found this creativity fascinating and educational.

-Ella Foulkes ’22