With much food going to waste all around us – just look in the trash bins after any event or gathering where edibles are served — it’s sometimes hard to imagine how anyone could go hungry in America. And yet hunger – or food insecurity that comes with poverty – is very real for some people, even in this long-running bullish economy.
The Greater Boston Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, wants to help highlight this reality. It has lined up various events this month to raise awareness and funds, hoping to get people to act to end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts as part of a national campaign by Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks.
To that end, Governor Charlie Baker has declared September as “Hunger Action Month” in Massachusetts, and Boston’s mayor, Martin J. Walsh, recently proclaimed Thursday as “Hunger Action Day” in the city. Meanwhile, the food bank has begun a social media campaign encouraging people to make a difference every day by taking actions like volunteering, donating, and sharing information about hunger on social media with the hashtags and tags #HungerActionMonth, #EndHungerHere, @gr8BosFoodBank, and @FeedingAmerica.
It is also urging folks to go orange on Thursday (Hunger Action Day) — like a number of Boston landmarks, including the Prudential Center, City Hall, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, Boston Harbor Hotel, and Atlantic Wharf. Those landmarks will be lit orange, the color symbolizing hunger.
On Saturday, the Greater Boston Food Bank’s “Kitchen Cabinet” (a networking group of young professionals) will partner with Citizens Bank and SPARK Boston to hold a hunger awareness event at Lawn on D, 420 D St., Boston, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to network, share information about food insecurity, and celebrate one year since the birth of the Citizens and Greater Boston Food Bank truck.
Other food bank events this month include an on-air fund-raiser on WCVB-TV (Channel 5) between 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. hosted by Maria Stephanos on Sept. 17; an advocacy day/rally at the State House on Sept. 24; and a 10th anniversary Women Fighting Hunger fund-raiser at Seaport Hotel Boston on Sept. 25.
“Nearly 500,000 people in Eastern Massachusetts are food insecure and don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Catherine D’Amato, president and chief executive of the food bank, said in a news release. “During September, we are asking people to take some kind of action and every one counts towards our vision to become Hunger Free by 2028.”
For more information and to help, visit gbfb.org.
We love these: Natick and Swampscott are holding their first “PorchFest” events on Saturday. These are essentially community festivals in which musicians of varying abilities play on the front porches and yards of homes and everyone is supposed to have a good time. Natick’s will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Pond Street area of the town center and is coordinated by the Natick Center Cultural District and the town. At least 16 acts will play at 10 porch locations. Visit natickporchfest.org. Swampscott’s PorchFest, sponsored by ReachArts, will take place from noon to 6 p.m. on porches and lawns throughout the Monument Avenue/Olmsted District. Visit reacharts.org.
Footprints: In Kingston on Thursday, Roberta Gately, a nurse and aid worker who has served in Third World war zones including Afghanistan, will speak about her book, “Footprints in the Dust: Nursing, Survival, Compassion, and Hope with Refugees,” at the Council on Aging, 30 Evergreen St., at 7 p.m. Visit kingstonpubliclibrary.org.
Watch your fingers: In Norfolk on Saturday and Sunday, the Cactus and Succulent Society of Massachusetts holds its 13th annual Cactus Show and Sale on the Town Common and in the Norfolk Library, 2 Liberty Lane, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The group says there will be more than 400 cacti and succulents on display. And the first 50 attendees each day will get a prickly guy (a plant) to take home, free. Visit cssma.org.
L. Kim Tan can be reached at email@example.com.