Thursday, August 17, 2017

One month to go to the Fight Hunger 5K

The third annual Fight Hunger 5K will be on Sunday, September 17, one month from today!  It's not too early to sign up and start fundraising!  You can find all of the details here.

The Fight Hunger 5K is a fundraising walk / run to support GardenShare's work to end hunger.  You can join us on your own or form a team from work, school, or your place of worship.  Then asks friends, family, and co-workers to consider sponsoring you as you take on the 5K.

You can raise money through a secure online site or the old fashioned way, with a paper pledge form, or both!  Whatever you choose, we hope you'll be there with us on September 17!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Families who rely on government food programs to keep their fridges stocked don’t have the financial resources to feed themselves when those programs disappear, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed what happened in the summer months when low-income children don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch programs. The study found that when families didn’t have access to school meal programs, they changed their household spending and spent more money on food at home. But the spending increase was minimal — less than $2 per week per child, the researchers found. That’s not nearly enough to cover the lost value of the school breakfast and lunch programs, which amount to $25 a week. And it falls well short of the more than $32 a week that the USDA says a school-age child needs for a nutritious diet.

Source: Market Watch, 8/1/17, Summer Food Lacking

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Librarians used to forbid any food or drink to avoid staining books and attracting pests; they scolded people who tried to sneak snacks in the stacks. But, now, they are the ones putting food on the table. This summer, hundreds of libraries are serving federally funded summer meals to children to ensure that they don’t go hungry. The change is part of an effort to stay relevant to patrons and to pair nutrition and educational activities so low-income children get summertime learning, too. Librarians and anti-hunger advocates in California, Ohio, Virginia and New York all reported sizable increases in participation after a concerted recruitment effort spread from state to state through webinars, librarian conferences and word of mouth. In 2014, the USDA started recommending libraries as potential partners, and has an online tool to connect them to sponsors. In 2016, public libraries in California provided over 203,000 meals for children at 139 sites, up from just 17 in 2013. Last year, Ohio had 133 library branches serving USDA-funded food, up from 88 in 2014.  New York has more than 115 libraries participating this summer, compared to 36 in 2013.

Source: New York Times, 7/30/17, Summer Meals at Libraries

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Fresh Truck is a mobile supermarket that delivers nutritious foods to people who lack access. The shelves of the old bus are stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables and devoid of salt- and sugar-laden processed foods; shoppers can use cash, debit/credit, and EBT state welfare benefit payment cards. Fresh Truck and a second school bus-based market makes 11 stops throughout Boston each week, mostly in low-income neighborhoods and food deserts where residents lack access to fresh foods. In 2015, Fresh Truck added FreshRx to its delivery system. FreshRx accepts “prescription” gift cards from local partners in exchange for produce. Through the program, healthcare partners identify a group of patients who receive a FreshRx card for $10 per week in groceries. Health centers and social service agencies across Boston—including Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families—underwrite the program.

Source: Civil Eats, 7/27/17, Mobile Food Prescriptions


Nearly two-thirds of low-income parents in the U.S. (64%) say a single unplanned expense would make it difficult to feed their families, a new survey reveals. Nearly all of the families surveyed who rely on food programs (92%) are working families – at least one adult in the house works full-time, part-time or multiple jobs. 59% of parents admit that, in the last year, the food they bought didn’t last and they didn’t have money to buy more. A majority of children from low-income families (59%) say they have come to school hungry, and 46% of them say hunger hurts their performance in school. Teachers often end up buying food for students who are not getting enough to eat at home--59%
of teachers regularly do this, spending nearly $300 a year out of their own pockets to fill the gap.

Source: No Hungry Kid, 8/2/17, On the Brink

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


A recent study of SNAP participants who use the FreshEBT app shows that the average household spends more than 80% of its SNAP benefits within the first nine days. Within the first 21 days, the average SNAP recipient has nothing left. Researchers suggest several reasons why SNAP benefits do not last through the month--(1) the benefit amount is too low to cover a household’s food costs and (2) the way SNAP benefits are disbursed only makes things worse. To test the latter proposition, they provided half of all new FreshEBT users a recommended weekly budget to remind them to spread consumption over the month and give them an appropriate weekly spending target. The remaining half got only a monthly balance. Over three months, researchers found that the weekly budget extended users’ monthly SNAP balance by roughly two more days. Families in the control group spent 80% of their monthly balance after nine days, while families who received a weekly budget took 11 days to spend 80% of their balance. Those two extra days means a family  could use SNAP to buy about six extra meals a month, just from a changing how a person’s SNAP balance is displayed.

Source: Scientific American, 7/21/17, SNAP Spending Patterns