Discover more from Burlington Buzz
People Helping People Hits the Pavement for Project Bread’s 55th Annual Walk for Hunger
Burlington-Based Nonprofit to Raise Money for Local Hunger Relief Programs
On May 7, People Helping People will be among over 3,000 participants to lace up for Project Bread’s 55th annual Walk for Hunger. For the 2nd consecutive year, the Burlington-based nonprofit will raise money to fight hunger. They are participating in the Commonwealth Program, which gives organizations addressing food insecurity 60% of all funds they have raised to support their own hunger relief programs, with the remaining 40% applied to Project Bread’s statewide anti-hunger effort. Last year, Project Bread awarded over $3,000 to People Helping People.
Since its inception in 1969, as the first pledge walk in the nation, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger has brought together a diverse community dedicated to creating change. On Sunday May 7th, the annual fundraiser returns to Boston Common after 3 years of being virtual due to COVID-19 safety precautions. This rite of passage for people in Massachusetts returns in its 55th year with a shorter route and a fresh look, but the mission of the time-honored tradition will never change. The fundraising goal this year is over $1 million.
“Right now, 1 in every 5 households with children in Massachusetts is struggling without enough to eat,” according to Erin McAleer, CEO of statewide anti-hunger organization Project Bread. She notes the number among Black, brown, and immigrant households is disproportionately higher. “Hunger in Massachusetts is simply unacceptable,” McAleer says. “This is a solvable problem but every single one of us needs to do our part. We all must take action. The work People Helping People does reflects what The Walk is all about—stepping up to benefit our friends, neighbors, and family members in Massachusetts who cannot meet the most basic of human needs: food. The People Helping People walk team understands hunger is an injustice and they are doing something about it. That is powerful.”
People Helping People works to establish and sustain a community-wide effort to help meet the basic needs of residents in Burlington, MA, serving around 350 people each month, including adults, children and seniors. The nonprofit runs the Burlington Community Food Pantry, Holiday Programs, and the Covenant for Basic Needs, an emergency fund. This year, the 12-person team will participate virtually in Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger by walking at the Burlington High School track with a goal to raise $5,000 for hunger relief. Funds raised from the Walk for Hunger will go toward People Helping People’s essential food assistance and outreach to families in need.
“Project Bread’s mission helps to bolster smaller programs across the state, including ours,” says Julie Lewis, People Helping People’s Food Pantry Manager. “They help us to connect our clients with SNAP assistance and other necessary resources to meet people’s basic needs. We look forward to walking on May 7 with our friends and neighbors in our own town to raise money to support the people of Burlington and across Massachusetts.”
Money raised through the Walk for Hunger is critical to Project Bread’s statewide work to ensure kids reliably have enough to eat, provide one-on-one support for individuals and families who need food assistance, and work to prevent hunger in the first place by eliminating barriers to resources and implementing policies that make food more accessible. In keeping with the community-spirit of the event, the Walk also provides a platform for organizations, like People Helping People, to fund the vital work they do fighting hunger locally. The Commonwealth, a joint fundraising program, Project Bread launched in 2019. In 2022, 36 nonprofits raised more than $123,000 to support their own programs.
This year’s event will include remarks by McAleer as well as family-friendly activities on the Boston Common, such as live music, photo booths, giveaways and raffle prizes, lawn games, and a Kids’ Zone with balloon animals and face painting. Families with kids, community groups, individuals, and teams of corporate employees are encouraged to find creative ways to fundraise and join us on Boston Common for the new 3-mile route and for an exciting day of celebration. Project Bread will continue to engage virtual participants this year, inviting anyone interested to register and walk their own way from wherever they are.
To register as a participant for Project Bread’s The Walk for Hunger, or to support a walker or team with 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, Inc.
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.