Senator Sal DiDomenico, a Food System Caucus Co-Chair, joined the Food Bank Coalition of MA’s stop of the MEFAP Roadshow at Teddie’s Peanut Butter in Everett. The Coalition’s Roadshow highlights the benefits of MEFAP (Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program) for local farmers, food manufacturers, and emergency food providers around the commonwealth.
MEFAP ensures a consistent supply of quality nutrient dense foods and locally grown fresh produce to a statewide network of 850 emergency food providers. Each provider is a member of one of the four food bank distribution centers: The Greater Boston Food Bank, The Merrimack Valley Food Bank, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and The Worcester County Food Bank.
This installment features a tour of Teddie Peanut Butter, a MEFAP vendor and key supporter of hunger relief efforts through frequent donations to The Greater Boston Food Bank over their 30+ year partnership. A speaking program will follow, featuring leaders from state government, Teddie Peanut Butter, The Greater Boston Food Bank, the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.
“The prices of food are rising in our state and wages are not keeping pace,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “The Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program is critical for ensuring our most vulnerable residents can access food and supporting food suppliers across the state. Food prices rising and extra federal SNAP benefits expiring presents an urgent crisis, and I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure $36 million in the Senate budget to fund this essential program. One in three people are food insecure in our state and MEFAP funding has been a lifeline to many people throughout the Commonwealth. Over 29 million meals were made available because of this funding in 2022 and we know the need is increasing this year.”
Prior to the May 19 stop in Everett, the MEFAP Road show made stops at McKinstry Farm in Chicopee, and the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance in Chatham.
MEFAP was established in 1995 to ensure that food insecure residents in need have access to a consistent supply of quality food in Massachusetts. The program is implemented through a unique partnership between the state and a private, non-profit food distribution network made up of four regional food banks and serves Massachusetts as both a critical food access and economic stimulus program. Funding is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the contract is managed by The Greater Boston Food Bank. Last year, the program provided more than 29 million meals throughout the food banks’ emergency food pantry networks statewide, and 43% of the funds went directly to Massachusetts farmers, suppliers and distributors according to its FY22 report.
For more information on the $30 million state contract, see the FY22 Annual MEFAP Report.
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. As the food bank for Eastern Massachusetts, GBFB is feeding people in 190 towns across the region, distributing the equivalent of nearly 90 million meals through a network of 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs. A member of the national Feeding America network, GBFB’s mission is to end hunger here. The organization remains committed to the belief that access to healthy food is a human right regardless of an individual’s circumstances. Through policy, partnerships, and providing free, nutritious, and culturally responsive food, GBFB is committed to addressing the root causes of food insecurity while promoting racial, gender and economic equity in food access. For more information and to help us help others, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617-427-5200.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts believes that everyone has a right to healthy food regardless of their circumstances. Serving Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, The Food Bank leads the region’s emergency food network of 160+ independent, local food pantries and meal sites, distributing nutritious food to households with lower incomes. Since 1982, The Food Bank has been providing individuals facing hunger with the food they need to survive and leading communities towards lasting solutions to food insecurity by addressing its underlying causes. The Food Bank is committed to creating a western Massachusetts where no one goes hungry, and everyone has access to nutritious food. For more information, visit foodbankwma.org.
The mission of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank is to provide adequate nutrition and freedom from hunger. The Food Bank’s programs currently serve 70,000 people monthly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. MVFB has been providing nutritious food to children, veterans, seniors, and working families since 1991. Food is distributed through direct service and a network of partner food pantries, meal programs, schools and senior centers. Visit http://www.mvfb.org or call 978-454-7272 for more information. You can follow MVFB on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Since its incorporation in 1982, the Worcester County Food Bank, located at 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA, has collected and distributed more than 50 million pounds of food and grocery product. They help feed hungry people of all ages in 60 communities in Central Massachusetts through a network of local shelters, food pantries, senior centers, residential rehabilitation programs, soup kitchens, after-school programs and neighborhood centers. For further information, visit http://www.foodbank.org