1,000 Students Provided Meal Packs Thanks to Hunger Heroes

Spring vacation is typically thought about as a time for students to take a break before the last few months of school. While many students go on vacation, take day trips, or maybe use the time to just relax, others are in constant worry about where their next meal will come from.

In New Bedford alone, over 1,300 students are considered to be homeless. These students rely on schools for their meals and when school is closed for vacation, they tend to go without.

For the past 4 years, United Way of Greater New Bedford has been hosting the Hunger Heroes Spring Edition to package meal packs for students in greatest need. These meal packs included kid friendly, non-perishable food items such as peanut butter & jelly, mac & cheese, granola bars, applesauce & fruit cups, cereal, and other snack items. Each pack also included a snap pea growing kit as an activity they can do over the break to learn how to grow their own food.

1,000 meal packs were assembled and distributed by our Hunger Commission to the New Bedford, Fairhaven, Freetown, and Wareham School Districts as well as Our Sisters’ School, Nativity Preparatory School, and the Discovery Language Academy.

"The donation of meal packs for students in need is making a real difference," said Julie Mador, Registarar/McKinney-Vento Liasions/Foster Care Point of Contact for the New Bedford Public Schools. "United Way's support helps ensure that no child goes to bed hungry. Together we are creating a brighter future for our community.
One of the Mckinney-Vento Liaisons at NBHS mentioned that a few students had asked her where they would be able to get food for the upcoming vacation week. She said, “It was nice to be able to say I have food for you and provide them with vacation meal packs!” 

Hunger Heroes was sponsored by BankFive, Neto Insuracnce, Sam Karam & Sons, Milestone Mortgage, The Jake Fabian Memorial Fund, Care Free Homes, Guild Mortgage, and Neighborhood Auto.

More on Food Insecurity in Greater New Bedford

According to the Greater Boston Food Bank, 1 in 3 are struggling with food insecurity in Eastern Massachusetts. Families and individuals in need of food have options, but sometimes these programs are still not enough do to the rising costs of groceries. That’s where the Hunger Commission and local pantries come in to fill those gaps. We work year round to provide additional food to the community through partnerships with food producers and local farms and through programs like Coastal FoodShed and Sharing the Harvest, a program of YMCA Southcoast Dartmouth.

In July, we will launch our 10th Mobile Market season to increase access to healthy food. Mobile Market provides fresh produce, free of charge, to residents in Greater New Bedford. Set up as a free farmers market, residents can select the type and amount of produce right for their family. All produce is grown at Sharing the Harvest. This program serves thousands of families each season. We also provide recipe cards to teach people how to prepare items that they may be less familiar with.

Below are local resources for those struggling with food insecurity: