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Nobel Peace Prize Highlights Food Insecurity In New England

Bagged food at the emergency food distribution program, run by Northampton Survival Center, Grow Food Northampton and Community Action Pioneer Valley.
Nancy Eve Cohen
/
NEPM
Bagged food at the emergency food distribution program, run by Northampton Survival Center, Grow Food Northampton and Community Action Pioneer Valley.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme is being recognized with its Nobel Peace Prize for combating hunger, and for its efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. That may not be the need in New England, but hunger is prevalent.

The award will make hunger more visible, said Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

In the last seven months, the Food Bank has seen a 20% increase in how much it distributes to pantries and in the number of people showing up. Morehouse said that's more elders, more people with disabilities and more working families under a lot of stress.

“While it might feel serene in rural parts of western Massachusetts,” Morehouse said, “in households and communities that are so affected by COVID, and even more so by food insecurity, it's pretty chaotic  and life is not ‘normal,’ ever.”

The World Food Programme states that until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, "food is the best vaccine against chaos."

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