BOSTON, MA (STL.News) Continuing its ongoing efforts to support a resilient, secure local food supply chain in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $5.9 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for residents across the Commonwealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is being awarded as part of the fourth round of the new $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program, created following recommendations from the Administration’s COVID-19 Command Center’s Food Security Task Force, which promotes ongoing efforts to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to healthy, local food.
“As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to build on our efforts to secure a resilient, diverse local food supply chain so Massachusetts residents maintain access to fresh, healthy food,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this fourth round of grants, we will have awarded a total of $17.7 million, making critical investments in our local food infrastructure and ensuring a secure supply of food as residents across the Commonwealth adjust to the impacts of this unprecedented public health challenge.”
“Families throughout Massachusetts, especially those living in underserved communities, will continue to receive better access to healthy, local food through the investments made through this important program,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These projects will ensure a strong, resilient supply of local food while delivering health and economic benefits to communities across the Commonwealth.”
The goal of the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program is to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have equitable access to food, especially local food. The program also seeks to ensure that farmers, fishermen and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.
The fourth round of the grant program includes 47 awards for a total of $5,895,554 to fund critical investments in technology, equipment, capacity, and other assistance to help local food producers, especially in the distribution of food insecure communities. When evaluating the applications, considerations included equity, economic impact and need, sustainability and scalability of efforts, and ability to support producer readiness to accept SNAP and HIP benefits. In the program’s first three rounds, the Administration awarded over $11.7 to more than 90 recipients.
NOTE: this is NOT the complete release.