Angela Vozzella plans to hit the pavement” for Project Bread’s 55th Annual Walk for Hunger on Sunday (May 7). The 54-year-old Saugus woman will be among more than 3,000 participants – both in-person and virtual – walking the new three-mile loop around 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 one million dollars 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, the annual fundraiser returns to Boston Common after three years of being virtual due to COVID-19 safety precautions. This rite of passage for people in Massachusetts returns 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 one 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,” Project Bread CEO Erin McAleer said.
She continued, “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.”
Vozzella plans to lace up virtually for Project Bread’s 55th annual Walk for Hunger. This will be her 25th year participating in the event. She will walk around Wakefield’s Lake Quannapowitt to raise funds and awareness for food insecurity. Working as a teacher in the public school system, Vozzella sees firsthand the importance of children getting enough to eat.
“The more people that get involved, the greater impact we can make,” Vozzella said.
“I walk to help feed children and families in need. Where I work, some children come to school hungry. My school provides breakfast and lunch for those children, with no questions asked,” she said.
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 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.
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 to get connected to a variety of food resources in 180 languages and for the hearing impaired. Counselors can prescreen families and help them to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn more at www.projectbread.org/get-help.