Physician Focus


Jim McGovern

Hunger in the Commonwealth


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For More Information:
Worcester County Food Bank

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Merrimack Valley Food Bank

Greater Boston Food Bank

Project Bread
FoodSource Hotline Number
   800-645-8333 or 617-523-7010
      9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday - Friday
      and 9:00 AM - noon on Saturday

Grow Clinic For Children, Boston Medical Center

Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University

Hunger in Massachusetts is a growing public health issue, so much so that the state's top health care leaders and elected officials convened a statewide summit in March to discuss ways to fight the problem. According to Project Bread, the state's leading anti-hunger agency, nearly 500,000 people across the state are experiencing hunger or "food insecurity" - a term applied to households that can't afford to buy enough nutritious food for healthy living. And the numbers are growing: Project Bread reported a 22 percent increase in food insecurity in its most recent Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts.

To increase awareness of hunger in our state, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians; Congressman Jim McGovern, representing the Massachusetts Third Congressional District and one of the nation’s leading anti-hunger advocates; and HCAM-TV, the public access television station serving Hopkinton, have collaborated to produce a special program on hunger in Massachusetts.

Hunger in the Commonwealth, produced with the cooperation and participation of anti-hunger agencies across the state, is a 60-minute package, consisting of a 58-minute program with two additional minutes (two separate, one-minute messages) of public service announcements appearing at the end of the hour. This flexibility in production (the ability to air 58, or 59 or 60 minute-program) should accommodate most public access stations.

The programs has four goals: (1) to outline the nature of the problem of hunger, (2) to describe the health implications of hunger; (3) to issue a call to action for citizens, groups, and businesses to help reduce hunger; and (4) to encourage individuals and families who may be eligible for such help to apply for food assistance programs offered by federal and state agencies.

The program's contents, with participating guests:

Jim McGovern
, U.S. Representative, Massachusetts Third Congressional District

Perspective on Hunger
     Ellen Parker, Executive Director, Project Bread

Segment One/Panel Discussion: "The Role of Food Banks"
     Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
     Jean McMurray, Executive Director, Worcester County Food Bank
     Amy Pessia, Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Food Bank
     Catherine D'Amato, President and CEO, Greater Boston Food Bank

Segment Two/Panel Discussion: "On the Front Lines" 
     Maureen Schnellmann, Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Programs, American Red Cross
     Frank Robinson, Executive Director, Partners for a Healthier Community, Springfield
     Beth Chambers, Director of Community Services, Greater Boston Catholic Charities

Segment Three/Panel Discussion: "Hunger and Health"
     Deborah Frank, M.D., Founder and Director, Grow Clinic for Children, Boston Medical Center and Founder and Principal Investigator,
           Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program at Boston Medical Center
     Edward Saltzman, M.D., Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at Tufts Medical Center and Associate Professor of Nutrition at the
           Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
     Jim McGovern, U.S. Representative, Massachusetts Third Congressional District

     Jim McGovern, U.S. Representative, Massachusetts Third Congressional District

Physicians’ Message
     Bruce Auerbach, M.D., President, Massachusetts Medical Society

Call to Action
     Jim McGovern, U.S. Representative, Massachusetts Third Congressional District

Public Service Announcement
     Congressman Jim McGovern and Project Bread Executive Director Ellen Parker

Program Host 
     James Kenealy, M.D., Massachusetts Medical Society and Physician, MetroWest ENT Associates, Framingham and Milford

For information or questions about this program, please contact the Executive Producer, Richard Gulla, Massachusetts Medical Society, at 781-434-7101 or [email protected]