- Department of Transitional Assistance
Media Contact for Department of Transitional Assistance Honors Project Bread For Fighting Food Insecurity In Commonwealth
Brooke Karanovich, Director of Communications, Department of Transitional Assistance
Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance – the agency responsible for local administration of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – has selected Project Bread, Inc. to receive the second annual Lauren Arms Ledwith Award for outstanding leadership and partnership in addressing food insecurity. The Lauren Arms Ledwith Award was established in 2018 to recognize organizations in Massachusetts that fight food insecurity in commemoration of former Massachusetts SNAP Director Lauren Arms Ledwith.
Project Bread is one of DTA’s nearly 80 contracted SNAP outreach partners including several Councils on Aging, community colleges, food banks, and other community-based organizations. Outreach partners work in collaboration with DTA to provide direct support and access points to clients within the communities they serve, including seniors, veterans, and college students.
“The entire Project Bread team works tirelessly on the front lines fighting hunger in the state, connecting people to vital food resources. Everything that Project Bread does supports their mission to prevent and end hunger in Massachusetts, and we’re impressed and honored to work with them each day,” said Jeff McCue, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance.
“At Project Bread, our focus is on providing immediate, reliable access to affordable healthy food while also breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger. SNAP is a program that effectively does both, which is why we are so grateful for our strong partnership with the Department of Transitional Assistance to connect individuals to this important program,” said Erin McAleer, President of Project Bread.
In addition to Project Bread’s contracted work with DTA to administer the FoodSource Hotline – which provides SNAP information and other food resources in the community to nearly 10,000 callers each year – Project Bread fights tirelessly to provide people with food and food resources, as well as to advocate on behalf of food security. In fact, Project Bread is hosting its annual Walk for Hunger this weekend to raise awareness about hunger and funds to support programs across Massachusetts that help residents access food. This walk is the longest-running community event in the country of its kind.
“Lauren invested incredible energy in building partnerships across Massachusetts to assure that vulnerable individuals would be offered access to SNAP. We are thankful that Lauren is remembered by honoring programs that excel in this vital work,” said Jim Ledwith, husband of late Lauren Arms Ledwith.
The first Lauren Arms Ledwith Award was presented to Donna Popkin from the Massachusetts Councils on Aging in May of 2018 for her dedication to supporting DTA’s SNAP outreach to seniors in the state.
DTA administers SNAP on behalf of the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and serves as a critical first line defense against hunger in the Commonwealth. One in every nine people in Massachusetts including working families, children, elders, and people with disabilities receive SNAP benefits. Of all SNAP households in the state, 72% earn less than the federal poverty limit – or $24,300 for a household of four.