Project Bread’s 53rd Annual Walk for Hunger Raises More Than $1 Million
Fundraising to Support Statewide COVID-Hunger Relief Efforts
BOSTON – On Sunday, May 2, Project Bread hosted the nonprofit’s 53rd annual Walk for Hunger, held virtually for the second consecutive year, to raise funds to help get food to kids and families during the COVID-19 crisis. More than 1,500 virtual participants hit the pavement in their neighborhoods and rallied supporters online to raise $1,067,000 for the cause. Fundraising for the event will continue through June 30.
“As the pandemic continues to take a financial toll on people and entire communities, we must do everything we can to help the 1 in 6 households struggling to afford food,” says Erin McAleer, CEO of Project Bread. “Participating in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger is one way we can all do something real to make sure our neighbors can get food to meet their most basic need. Our community has shown we have the power to create meaningful change. This year it is especially important.”
True to its grassroots beginnings, the Walk for Hunger brings community partners, business leaders, walkers, volunteers, public officials, media and residents of all backgrounds together for a united cause. Money raised through the virtual event will fund Project Bread’s urgent COVID-19 hunger-relief response work directly helping individuals and families and advocating at the state and federal levels for expedited and efficient relief for those in need now and in the future.
“Without our walk participants, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” says McAleer. “The Walk for Hunger is our largest annual fundraiser. Money raised by Walk participants goes directly to helping people access food during the pandemic and ensures communities have the resources necessary to respond to the hunger crisis now and over the long road to recovery ahead.
Like Minded organizations that fundraised as part of The Commonwealth program by forming teams raised money to support their own work, while also furthering the statewide effort. This year 28 nonprofits participated in this program and raised more than $165,000 and counting, toward their own anti-hunger local efforts to be awarded in grants later this year.
Historically, the Walk for Hunger, the nation’s oldest continual pledge walk, takes place the first Sunday of May on the Boston Common. Families with kids, people with dogs, and teams of corporate employees, many of whom haven’t seen each other in more than a year, all found creative ways to infuse feelings of unity and connectedness into the day virtually, on social media.
During the event, Project Bread honored Catalina López-Ospina with the Patrick Hughes Award for Social Justice for her work as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Access in Boston, helping to fill gaps in food access for individuals and families and expand the city’s anti-hunger efforts. The Award recognizes an individual with an unyielding commitment to driving meaningful change by addressing the causes of hunger, thus carrying forward the spirit of the event’s founder, Patrick Hughes.
“Our walk community always inspires us,” says McAleer. “The people of Massachusetts showed up in a big way even during a pandemic. From hosting virtual auctions, to doing family fitness challenges and co-worker relay races, to running alpaca photo booths and walking their own routes, people found a way to raise awareness and money to help those who need it most. Their efforts speak to the potential we have as a community working together to drive change and that is a message that resonates with everyone.”
Donations and personal fundraisers will continue to be made through June 30. To support the Walk for Hunger, visit: www.projectbread.org.
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.