Listen 19:44 Catherine D’Amato on BPR | August 9, 2021
Even as the economy in Massachusetts opened up for summer, job growth remains slow, and food insecurity is still at alarmingly high levels.
Catherine D’Amato, executive director of the Greater Boston Food Bank, told Boston Public Radio on Monday the numbers “continue to be very striking,” with around 1 in 6 of every Massachusetts resident experiencing food insecurity. Before the pandemic, the numbers were closer to 1 in 12.
“In that number, a sizeable group — over half — were not utilizing federal programs” like Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program, or SNAP, because “they didn’t believe they were eligible,” she said.
The Greater Boston Food Bank conducted a survey in May and found that a significant number of people experiencing food insecurity had never sought assistance before. D’Amato said she even saw people who felt they weren’t eligible to utilize a food pantry in their own community.