Revere Resident Raises Money for Statewide End to Hunger
REVERE, Mass. – On May 7, Megan Witter, of Revere, will hit the pavement for Project Bread’s The 55th annual Walk for Hunger. She will be among over 3,000 participants, both in-person and virtual, to walk the new 3-mile loop around the Boston Common or in their own neighborhoods. Back on the Common for the first time since 2019, the one-day fundraising event will raise more than $1 million to support food assistance resources and sustainable policy solutions to end hunger across the Commonwealth.
Beginning in 1969, as the first pledge walk in the nation, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger brings 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. The mission of the time-honored tradition will never change. The fundraising goal this year is over $1 million dollars.
“As we continue to recover from the pandemic and see federal emergency benefits such as expanded SNAP benefits coming to an end, 1 in 5 Massachusetts households with children are still struggling without enough to eat,” says Erin McAleer, Project Bread CEO. “That number jumps dramatically for Black, brown, and immigrant households. Participating in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger is one way we can all do something real to make sure our neighbors in need can get the food to meet their most basic of needs.”
Witter first participated in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger in 2006. She was inspired to walk by her first boyfriend when she was 16 years old. Almost 20 years later, the Revere resident has raised $2,000 for the cause. For the past two and a half years, Witter has worked for the Community Health and Engagement Department’s Food Hub in conjunction with the First Congregational Church food pantry of Revere. She feeds approximately 500 families every week and hears stories from people that face food insecurity locally. Participating in the Walk for Hunger opened her eyes to what was happening in Massachusetts. Her goal is to raise $5,000 this year.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my community,” says Witter. “Life is truly about the little things. Even just an hour here and an hour there, it is all important. After listening to people’s stories at the food pantry, it pushed me to do what I could to get healthy, fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate food for these people. Many residents in Revere live paycheck to paycheck and struggled through the pandemic to have enough to eat. Food insecurity is real, and we need to combat it together.”
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, In keeping with the community-spirit of the event, the Walk also provides a platform for organizations to fund the vital work they do fighting hunger locally. The Commonwealth is 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 represents a culmination of our fundraising season and a celebration of community efforts over the last three years of the pandemic to fundraise and walk to solve hunger,” says McAleer. “We cannot wait to welcome the Massachusetts community –both new and returning – together in-person on the Common while continuing to engage those across the country making strides in the fight against hunger locally.”
This 55th annual event will include remarks by McAleer as well as family-friendly activations on the Boston Common, such as live music, photo booths, giveaways and raffle prizes, lawn games, and a Kid’s Corner with balloon animals and face painting. For the fifth consecutive year, Project Bread is inviting other anti-hunger programs to participate as co-fundraisers in the event through the Commonwealth Program.
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, although a $250 minimum goal is suggested. 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 Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333), which provides confidential, free assistance getting connected to a variety of food resources in 180 languages and for the hearing impaired. Counselors can pre-screen families and help them to apply for SNAP. Learn more at 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.