East Boston-based Project Bread, a leading statewide organization committed to preventing and ending hunger for Massachusetts residents of all ages, kicked off its 50th celebration Monday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Mayor Marty Walsh and Congressman Jim McGovern spoke out against hunger in partnership with Project Bread, and announced the 50th Walk for Hunger and 5K Run, which will take place on Sunday, May 6, on Boston Common.
The Walk for Hunger is the oldest pledge walk in the nation. It began in 1969 as a grassroots movement organized by a small group from The Paulist Center who saw the negative effects of hunger on their community and took action to raise money for local anti-hunger organizations. The walk will raise funds for community programs that help the one in 10 Massachusetts residents who are food-insecure, including food pantries, meal programs, community health center programs, farm and garden initiatives, food rescue programs, and child nutrition programs. The walk has since become a staple of the area, with thousands participating each year.
“Food is the most basic of human rights and we work in partnership with community organizations to provide access to food, through funds raised by the Walk support our community partners that provide access,” said Project Bread President Erin McAleer.
“We have the means, the food, and the programs to ensure that not one person goes without food in this country,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “What we lack is the political will to actually make it happen. The Walk for Hunger is a great example of people of all backgrounds coming together to make a statement that hunger is an issue we care about.”
The Walk for Hunger is the largest one-day fundraiser to end hunger in Massachusetts and a community platform for awareness about the problem of hunger in our state. It is an inclusive event that draws diverse groups from across the Commonwealth – children, families, schools, businesses, religious organizations and community groups.
“I want to congratulate Project Bread for being an organization that has successfully highlighted the importance for accessible, affordable, and healthy food for 50 years. This year, thousands of participants will lace up their shoes again to take a step towards food security,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am excited to be celebrating our progress so far and continue fighting to prevent and end hunger in City of Boston, and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
The 20-mile Walk for Hunger begins at 8:00 a.m. on Boston Common and weaves through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and Cambridge before concluding back on the Boston Common. The 5K Run will take place at 7 a.m., also beginning on the Common.
“As we celebrate the 50th Walk for Hunger, we must remember that the fight to end hunger is far from over,” McAleer said. “We’ve been walking for 50 years, and we will keep going until we end this solvable problem. Until hunger no longer impacts the health and lives of people in this state.” To join the movement and register for Project Bread’s 50th Walk for Hunger, visit www.projectbread.org/walk.