The Loaves & Fishes Board of Directors, Staff and facilitator Tammie Foote presented Loaves & Fishes’ Strategic Plan at a breakfast meeting on June 6, 2017.
The need for help with food is growing despite the improving economy. Some data points that made now the right time:
- A high and growing higher number of people in our area face food insecurity: 1 in 16 people overall, 1 in 6 children and 1 in 5 senior citizens.
- Poverty rates in some of the towns we serve are 12%.
- The poverty rate is $24,600 for a family of four with most assistance programs limited to those at 1.5 to 2 times that amount which is more than $25,000 below the $75,000 average cost of living in this area
- The population living on fixed incomes is growing rapidly as baby boomers retire.
- Improvements in transportation to Devens may lead to more people who need our services gaining access.
- Hunger and food insecurity aren’t the same thing. Quality and nutritional value of food matter. As Loaves & Fishes has shifted to more fresh produce our storage and distribution requirements have shifted.
- Uncertainty over funding and other support for public assistance programs.