I went to my first Project Bread Walk for Hunger expecting to make some great memories, but probably the best moment was a complete surprise.
I was standing at the edge of Boston Common, waiting for my colleagues to arrive and holding a Team Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) sign.
“There’s my team,” said an unfamiliar voice, and I looked up to meet a longtime fan of SCES. After some quick introductions, we chatted a bit. She told me how our agency has helped her father maintain his independence and well-being for the past 12 years. She also praised his Home Care nurse and case manager, saying they are immensely helpful and always happy to see them.
I thanked her for the kind words and told her I’d pass them along to her father’s Home Care team. It was shortly before the walk commenced and we were going separate ways. A few moments later, I realized I forgot to ask who she was walking for, that perfect Sunday morning. Rookie mistake, I’ll be sure to ask her next year.
Our team—Nutrition Director Meghan Ostrander, Dietitian Andrea Svartstrom, Volunteer Coordinator Lindsey Smilack, and Home Care Case Manager Juan Bautista—was walking to support SCES Congregate Meals through the Walk for Hunger.
Congregate Meals is a great program. It supports food security and provides socialization for local older adults with no out-of-pocket cost. SCES served roughly 1,500 Congregate Meals per month in 2022. We expect that number will go up in the coming year, as food prices remain high and pandemic relief programs are winding down.
Congregate Meals is one of several SCES programs that rely on local revenues and fundraising, and that is why our team was walking. As of Sunday, we raised just over $1,100. As a Commonwealth Walk for Hunger partner, 60% of those revenues will support SCES Congregate Meals. The remainder will support Project Bread’s statewide advocacy efforts, which include a campaign to permanently make school lunch available free of charge for all students in the Bay State.
To everyone who supported our team by walking or donating, please accept our sincerest thanks. If you would like to support our efforts, donations to Team SCES are being accepted through June 30.
The Walk for Hunger was a great day overall, made even better by a chance meeting that really underscored the impact of elder services in our community. Thank you again
SCES Director of Outreach and Community Relations
Captain, Team Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services