Food insecurity has become one of the largest challenges stemming from the coronavirus pandemic here in Massachusetts.

In Springfield, schools play a major role in providing consistent and nutritious food to families within the district and beyond.

That's why in March, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick — in partnership with the city of Springfield — set up 18 sites throughout the city to continue to provide meals three times a week, despite the pandemic.

Warwick says typically the Springfield School District distributes roughly 30,000 meals on a weekly basis to students at public, private and charter schools in the area. Since March, the district has made and given out more than 5 million meals to families, including more than 95,000 just this past holiday weekend.

"We're a community with a high poverty rate." Warwick said. "There's a great deal of food insecurity already, during normal circumstances. And you add in this pandemic, and we wanted to really do everything we could to help families get through this crisis."

We also checked back in with Catherine D'Amato, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, about how the last nine months have been. Before the pandemic, one in 13 people were considered food insecure in the state, D'Amato said. Since March, that's increased to one in eight, with one in five being children.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full episode.


Catherine D'Amato - 1:42
Daniel Warwick - 15:54

Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified the name of the Springfield Superintendent of Schools. His name is Daniel Warwick.