Prior to the pandemic, household food insecurity in Massachusetts was at 8.2%. The coronavirus pandemic fueled a hunger crisis unlike any other in our lifetime, at its peak rendering 19.6% of households food insecure. Food insecurity is on the decrease, but a return to pre-pandemic rates is not an option.
WHAT IS THE WOMEN’S LUNCH PLACE?
The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) provides nutritious meals, hygienic essentials, specialized advocacy services, free medical care, and a variety of other opportunities for personal and professional growth. Each year, WLP provides these services to around 1800 women.
During the pandemic, the need for The Women’s Lunch Place grew that much more. In 2021 alone, WLP prepared and served 100,000+ meals and worked with over 100 women who were homeless or experiencing displacement. Many of those experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity may have experienced severe trauma, abuse, and loss. The team at WLP invests in extensive staff training to ensure that the holistic model of care works for both women in crisis and those who may be experiencing a temporary period of uncertainty.
WLP is equipped to support guests who fall through the cracks of social welfare and healthcare systems. Whether providing legal services to women fleeing domestic violence, rent assistance for those facing eviction, or simply a consistent refuge and hot cup of coffee, the thoughtfully-built environment is one of trust, resilience, and hope.
WHY IS SUPPORTING WLP IMPORTANT FOR CHEF ADAMS & CHEF AMARILYS?
We spoke with both Jody Adams, James Beard Award Chef of Trade, Porto, and Saloniki Greek, and Chef Amarilys Colón of Porto. Both will be participating in the Women’s History Month event in support of the Women’s Lunch Place – learn more here! We asked both Chefs the same question: Why is it important for you to help raise money for WLP?
“Gathering around the table to share a meal brings people together and this is at the heart of why I became a chef. It all started with my family, where the kitchen was the grand central station for friends and family. When you are homeless or experiencing food insecurity, you are cut off from the connection a meal can bring. Women’s Lunch Place offers a communal table for women, letting them know they are cared for and providing access to resources that help them survive and ultimately thrive. A sense of belonging and having value is critical to the human spirit.” – Chef Amarilys Colon
“I started volunteering at The Women’s Lunch Place at a time of loss in my life and fell in love with the place. It helped heal me. Dignity, generosity, and care are central to the culture at WLP and are found in each and every interaction and plate served to the guests. The food is delicious, beautiful, and healthy. There is no place like it. I hope other women feel the same connection and support when they gather at WLP for a meal.” – Chef Jody Adams