News from the Food System Caucus
of the Massachusetts Legislature:
We must support Massachusetts residents impacted by food insecurity and all aspects of our agricultural community and food producers.
SNAP Benefits (formerly food stamps)
SNAP recipients can purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmer’s Markets and farm stands.
Pat Baker from the Mass Law Reform Institute has offered her expertise as a resource for SNAP questions, including those on immigrant and college student eligibility and can refer individuals to local Legal Services staff. Her email is Pbaker@mlri.org.
MA Food Bank
The state’s major food bank distribution centers, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Worcester County Food Bank, the Food Bank of Western MA, and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, are still operating and serving local food pantries.
Project Bread Hotline
Project Bread works to fully enroll individuals in state and federal nutrition programs as well as refer callers to local food resources. The FoodSource Hotline is toll-free and is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in MA for people facing hunger. The Hotline is 1-800-645-8333.
MA Recycling Works provides strategic services to help businesses reduce, recover, and divert surplus food at no cost. Their hotline is 888-254-5525 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainable Business Network of MA
SBN works to support local and independent businesses by encouraging sales of local products. The organization advises restaurants producing emergency meals to help them source local ingredients and are encouraging people to buy from restaurants, breweries, and other retailers that are open for pick-up and delivery.
Check with local distilleries for hand sanitizer.
For those with questions about starting home gardens, visit UMass Extension.
Bulletins and guidance for Agriculture can be found here.
Central MA Grown’s local food listing can be found here.