Burlington-Based Nonprofit to Raise Money for Local Hunger Relief Programs
People Helping People Hits the Pavement for Project Bread’s 54th Annual Walk for Hunger
PRESS RELEASE from Burlington Food Pantry
March 31, 2022
Community Food Pantry Manager
BURLINGTON, Mass. – On May 1, People Helping People will be among thousands of virtual participants to lace up for Project Bread’s 54th annual Walk for Hunger. For the first time, the Burlington-based nonprofit will participate in the event through The Commonwealth Program which gives 60 percent of all funds raised by teams from likeminded organizations and agencies back to support their own hunger relief programs, with the remaining 40 percent applied to the statewide anti-hunger effort. People Helping People is a past Project Bread grantee outside of the Commonwealth Program.
Historically, the Walk for Hunger, the nation’s oldest continual pledge walk, takes place the first Sunday of May on the Boston Common. The 2022 fundraiser will be the third event to be done virtually and is expected to raise more than $1 million to support Project Bread’s work to increase food access for people of all ages in Massachusetts.
“Currently, 1 in 5 Massachusetts households with children is struggling without enough to eat and that number jumps dramatically for Black, brown, and immigrant households,” says Erin McAleer, Project Bread CEO. “Participating in the Walk for Hunger is one way in which residents can take action to fund school and community meal sites and Massachusetts’ only statewide hotline that connects residents with a range of food resources, including SNAP assistance. We can drive community change together.”
Money raised through the Walk is funding Project Bread’s work to ensure kids have reliable access to food, directly helping individuals and families, and advocating at the state and federal levels for expedited and efficient relief for those in need. Walk funds are also supporting community organizations, like People Helping People, that are helping residents to access food now and grants to ensure communities have the resources necessary to sustain and grow local anti-hunger programs. In 2021, 28 nonprofits participated in The Commonwealth Program and raised more than $165,000 to support their own work.
People Helping People works to establish and sustain a community-wide effort to assist Burlington residents of all ages who have a need for food, medicine, heat or utilities and to provide for holiday food baskets and gifts for children. The nonprofit, which is primarily volunteer run, is the umbrella organization overseeing the Burlington Community Food Pantry, The Burlington Covenant for Basic Needs and the Holiday Program. This will be the first time People Helping People will participate in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. The organization’s team of up to 20 staff members, volunteers, family members and clients will walk five miles around the track at Burlington High School on Walk day with the goal of raising $5,000. Funds raised through the nonprofit’s participation in the Commonwealth Program will support the relocation and expansion of the Burlington Community Food Pantry, which during the 2021 fiscal year served 441,237 meals.
“It is critical to ensure that people, especially children, have reliable access to healthy food every day; it’s a basic need in life,” says Julie Lewis, Burlington Community Food Pantry Manager. “The work we do at People Helping People is only made possible by the 75 volunteers who show up throughout the week every week of the year. Their efforts are not unlike the thousands of Massachusetts residents who come together on Walk day. Both groups show the power of uniting for a social cause to create meaningful change in this world. We are excited for our first Walk!”
This year’s event will include virtual programming with McAleer, elected officials, as well as walkers and volunteers posting and sharing their experiences along their neighborhood routes and why they are walking to help end hunger. Families with kids, individuals and teams of corporate employees are encouraged to find creative ways to connect virtually and fundraise together.
To register for the event and create a personal or team fundraising page for The Walk for Hunger or to make a donation, visit projectbread.org/walk or call (617) 723-5000.There is no registration fee or fundraising minimum to participate. Participants who raise $500 or more are recognized as Heart & Sole walkers, and receive access to personalized fundraising support, exclusive event gear, and invitations to events.
People experiencing food insecurity should call into Project Bread’s toll-free FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333), which provides confidential assistance to connect with food resources, including SNAP benefits, in 180 languages and for the hearing impaired. For more information, visit: www.projectbread.org/get-help.
About Project Bread
Project Bread is the leading statewide anti-hunger organization in Massachusetts. Beginning in 1969 with the first Walk for Hunger, the nonprofit focuses on driving systemic change to ensure people of all ages have reliable access to healthy food. Project Bread works collaboratively across sectors to create innovative solutions to end hunger and improve lives across the Commonwealth. For more information, visit: www.projectbread.org.
About People Helping People
People Helping People works to establish and sustain a community-wide effort to help meet the basic needs of residents of Burlington, MA. For more information, visit: www.peoplehelpingpeopleinc.org.