The Impact

Stories from our Social Service Organizations (SSOs)

Project Bread

Project Bread has worked in partnership with community health centers around the state for more than a decade to address food insecurity for individuals seeking care. As people move through a partner health center, Project Bread steps in to connect people to their FoodSource Hotline and other neighborhood resources and assist people in their applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Project Bread saw great potential in enhancing their partnerships with healthcare through the Flexible Services Program (FSP):

We wanted to enhance the relationship between food security and health, building stronger bridges with healthcare as advocates around food security and nutrition.
– Jennifer Obadia, Senior Director Health Care Partnerships, Project Bread

Through FSP, Project Bread worked with C3 to develop a program that addresses the variety of reasons an individual or household might be experiencing food insecurity. For some, the primary issue is not having enough income to purchase healthy food. For others, they also need support with nutrition education and cooking supplies to be able to know how to prepare meals that support their health.

We’re not offering one thing; you don’t just get a gift card or a bag of food. C3 really encouraged us, and we encouraged them, to think of the full suite of services someone would need to reduce or eliminate the barriers.
– Jennifer Obadia, Senior Director Health Care Partnerships, Project Bread

Project Bread has a robust feedback loop in place, reaching out to members to determine if their needs were met and to learn about their overall experience with Project Bread’s coordinators. Feedback has been positive:

I ask them if they were treated with respect, and the answer is usually “yes, and…” They have many things to add because there is a built-in closeness to the coordinators that they develop.
– Hannah Benson, Program Assistant, Project Bread

Once a member is referred to Project Bread, a coordinator reaches out to determine the member’s needs and set a service plan. Member needs might include grocery store gift cards to augment their SNAP benefits or a referral for home-delivered meals if they are recovering from a health condition that makes cooking a challenge. Other members might benefit from kitchen supplies and appliances, cooking classes, one-on-one nutrition counseling, and transportation assistance to the grocery store. Project Bread is also able to refer internally to the FoodSource Hotline to be sure members are maximizing their SNAP benefits.

Hear from Hannah Benson, Program Assistant and Nivia Lisboa, Nutrition Services Coordinator about the growth and success of Project Bread’s cooking classes:

To stay connected with these families and know that our work has a tremendous effect on the family is rewarding.
– Millie Colon, Housing Services Manager, Way Finders