BOSTON (WWLP) — The Baker-Polito Administration announced last week $4.7 million in grants that will be used to address food insecurities across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This money is part of a fifth round of the $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program created after being recommended by the Administration’s COVID-19 Command Center’s Food Security Task Force. The task force works to ensure all families and residents of the state have access to healthy food.
“We recognize that food insecurity remains a significant challenge for many families throughout the Commonwealth, making our efforts to secure a resilient, diverse local food supply chain even more critical,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through a $56 million investment through our Food Security Task Force, our Administration is committed to investing in our local food infrastructure and ensuring a secure supply of food, which will enable us to ensure that families throughout Massachusetts can access local, nutritious food as they continue to meet the challenges created by the pandemic.”
“During this holiday season it is important that families across Massachusetts, especially those living in underserved communities, receive better access to healthy, local food,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The investments made through this program will help Massachusetts’ farmers and food producers build on the progress our state has made since the onset of the pandemic to ensure a strong local food chain.”
The Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program works to make sure all Massachusetts residents have access to food, especially local food. Farmers, fishermen, and other local food producers are also considered in the program. They are connected to a strong food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.
This fifth round of the grant program will give a total of $4,742,293 to 54 awardees, including over a dozen in western Massachusetts, to help fund critical investments in technology, capacity, equipment, and other needs to help local food producers.
In the program’s first four rounds, the Administration awarded over $17.7 million to more than 137 recipients.
The awardees for the fifth round of the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program include:
- YMCA of Greater Boston – $183,847 – The funding will enable the YMCA of Greater Boston to establish mobile food pantries to deliver food to underserved neighborhoods in Boston. The mobile food pantry will provide full-service food pantry operations and it will rotate on a weekly basis to deliver to as many neighborhoods as possible.
- Double C Ranch in Granby – $40,748 – The funding will aid in the stabilization of the beef supply within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by assisting the ranch with the installation of a walk-in freezer for additional storage, the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle to increase product delivery.
- Citizens for Citizens in Fall River – $112,009 – To increase the capacity and distribution of food to those in need within the Fall River region, funding will assist the organization with the purchasing of a refrigerated truck and facility equipment.
- World Farmers in Lancaster – $5,397 – The funding will enable the organization to expand the availability of its products to low income individuals and families by investing in equipment that enables SNAP/EBT payments to be directly made. Simultaneously, the investment will facilitate the growth and development of small-scale vegetable farms owned and operated by immigrant and refugee farmers through the Flats Mentor Farm (FMF) program.
- Caretaker Farm LLC in Williamstown – $29,075 – Caretaker Farm will build a clean, safe, and efficient wash station area that will assist in providing high quality produce to local consumers by streamlining operations.
- All Nations Church Food Pantry in Springfield – $87,446 – In an effort to meet the increased demands of food assistance from the food insecure and low-income residents of Hampden County, funding will enable the food pantry to renovate and equip a new facility space. Funding for renovations and equipment includes refrigerator and freezer units, electrical service upgrades, plumbing services, HVAC & installation, and the installation of counters.
- Park Hill Orchard LLC in Easthampton – $36,890 – To further reach food insecure residents within Hampshire County, the funding will assist Park Hill Orchard LLC with the purchase of an insulated cargo van to distribute fresh and shelf stable fruit products via farmer’s markets, roadside stands, pantries, and direct delivery.
- Full Well Farm in Adams – $1,128 – The funding will enable the farm to expand the availability of products to low income individuals and families within the Town of Adams by investing in equipment that enables SNAP/EBT payments to be directly made.
- Edgartown Council on Aging in Edgartown – $3,738 – To aid in the efforts to fulfill the organization’s essential goal in addressing food insecurity and access in Dukes County, program funding will allow for a larger volume of meals to be made in advance, enhanced storage, and protect frozen meals until they are consumed or safely stored by recipients. Funding will go towards the purchase of new equipment, such as a freezer and carts and shelving for storage.
- Southbridge Public Schools Federal Lunch Program – $116,000 – In an effort to serve both students and members of the community, funding will aid the Southbridge Public School Federal Lunch Program with the purchasing of equipment to establish an on-site farm, which will grow and harvest greens for salads. The on-site farm will increase the production and consumption of MA grown food, it will ensure food safety as the lettuce is grown free of herbicides and pesticides, and will help reduce hunger and food insecurity.
- Buzzards Bay Fisheries, Inc. in New Bedford – $100,000 – Funding will assist in the purchasing and installation of a haddock cutting machine for Buzzards Bay Fisheries, Inc. Importantly, the new equipment will provide an increase in fresh seafood for residents within the region and throughout the state, as well as, reduce labor time while increasing safety for staff.
- The Neighborhood Farm, LLC in Wayland – $119,000 – To reach food insecure residents within the Middlesex County area, the funding will assist the Neighborhood Farm LLC with the purchase of a new delivery van and truck for food distribution to markets, food pantries, meal kitchens, and home deliveries during the fall and winter months.
- Farming Falmouth, Inc. in Falmouth – $5,600 – The funding will assist individuals, including those with disabilities, with the opportunity to plant and harvest vegetables at a Town of Falmouth owned property by providing gardening infrastructure, such as wheelchair accessible beds and irrigation in an effort to foster healthy eating habits of organic produce at a low cost.
- Mountain Girl Farm, Inc. in North Adams – $35,600 – Due to the closure of local farmers markets because of the ongoing public health emergency, access to farm-to-table produce has become limited since March 2020. Funding will aid in the purchasing of a vehicle to be used to deliver fresh produce to individuals, including those utilizing SNAP benefits, in Northern and Central Berkshire County.
- Holiday Farm in Berlin – $1,020 – The funding will increase refrigeration capacity at the farm stand to not only store additional produce but to also increase its longevity, ensuring better availability of vegetables and other products at the facility for the public to obtain.
- Great Falls Farmers Market in Turners Falls – $1,150 – The funding will enable the organization to expand the availability of its products to low income individuals and families by investing in equipment that enables SNAP/EBT payments to be directly made.
- Diemand Egg Farm, Inc. in Wendell – $121,850 – The funding will increase storage capacity at the egg farm by purchasing a new commercial walk-in freezer for onsite storage. With the new refrigeration equipment, perishable products will be more widely available to the local community to obtain.
- Cottone Inc. FV Sabrina Maria in Gloucester – $72,000 – With the need of nutritious proteins being made readily available within the local community and region, funding will purchase fish processing equipment on the deck of the Sabrina Maria, a groundfishing vessel out of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
- Maria F.S. DeLume Inc FV Santo Pio in Gloucester – $72,000 – With the need of nutritious proteins being made readily available within the local community and region, funding will purchase fish processing equipment on the deck of the Santo Pio, a groundfishing vessel out of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
- First United Methodist Church in Southbridge – $800 – Funding will assist the organization, which offers free food and meals to those in need, to increase food storage through the purchasing of a freezer unit.
- Hart Farm in Conway – $10,538 – In an effort to increase product storage and preservation, and for better food distribution, funding for the project will go towards the purchasing of important infrastructure, such as a walk-in cooler.
- Julia Coffey DBA Mycoterra Farm in South Deerfield – $3,200 – The funding will enable the farm to expand the availability of its products to low income individuals and families by investing in equipment that enables EBT payments to be directly made.
- Steppingstone, Inc. in Fall River – $38,500 – Working with high risk, low income populations, the organization is seeking to make upgrades to its food storage and delivery infrastructure to reduce waste, which will simultaneously provide more individuals in need with food. Equipment includes a cargo van, freezer unit, storage bins, and food preparation equipment.
- The Gray House, Inc. in Springfield – $45,513 – To meet the demand to provide food to those in need, funding will assist the food pantry to make important infrastructure improvements to increase food storage and distribution. New equipment includes food carts, a freezer, and a computer.
- Malden Public Schools – $110,309 – Program funding will enable the school system to expand its meal distribution services to students in need with the purchasing of a food truck.
- Everett Community Growers in Everett – $319 – Funding will enable the organization to expand the availability of its products to low income individuals and families within the community by investing in equipment (a receipt printer) that enables SNAP/EBT payments to be directly made.
- The Keith Farm in Westport – $248,290 – To further the farm’s efforts to increase produce yields and food distribution to the local community, funding will assist in the purchasing of a greenhouse, non-commercial kitchen, and a refrigerated vehicle in the New Bedford/Fall River area.
- People Helping People Food Pantry in Burlington – $106,517 – To ensure COVID-19 guidance compliance and further improve the distribution of food to those in need, the food pantry’s project will update its infrastructure with the purchase of a freezer, and outdoor refrigeration unit, a refrigerated vehicle, kitchen infrastructure, and a generator.
- Chelsea Public Schools in Chelsea – $80,743 – The Chelsea Public Schools will utilize program funding to enable the purchasing of new equipment and point of sale tablet technology, which will assist in food distribution through its grab and go meals program.
- Fishing Vessel Cheryl Ann in Scituate – $82,600 – With the need of nutritious proteins being made readily available within the local community and region, funding will purchase fish processing equipment on the deck of the Cheryl Ann, a groundfishing vessel out of Scituate, Massachusetts. Importantly, a portion of the catch will be donated to the Scituate Food Pantry for those in need.
- Daily Table in Dorchester – $374,750 – To meet the demand to provide food to those in need, the organization will utilize program funding to purchase equipment that will increase its capacity to provide 75,000 meals per month. Equipment includes refrigerators and transportation.
- Berkshire Community Action Council, Inc. in Pittsfield – $96,914 – To better serve the residents of the region, the organization will use program funding to purchase a delivery vehicle. Additionally, storage and a refrigeration unit will be purchased to assist the distribution of food to those in need.
- Wendell Good Neighbors, Inc. in Wendell – $59,298 – To reach and provide individuals and families in need, the organization will utilize the funding to purchase a vehicle to distribute over 10,000 pounds of food per month in the Town of Orange.
- Greater Fall River Community Food Pantry, Inc. in Fall River – $78,287 – To better serve the residents of Fall River and the surrounding communities, the food pantry will use program funding to purchase a refrigerated delivery vehicle. Additionally, storage and IT equipment will be purchased to streamline the process to better transport and provide food to those in need.
- Brockton Public Schools in Brockton – $118,260 – In an effort to increase fresh produce, funding will enable the school system to purchase a climate-controlled freight container farm, which will be able to support over 13,000 plants.
- Fund For the Needy of St. Bonaventure Parish in Plymouth – $3,800 – In an effort to increase food storage, funding for the project will go towards the purchasing of a food refrigeration unit. The project will assist in the organization’s dedication to providing food to families within the area.
- Sweet Morning Farm, LLC in Leyden – $27,898 – To expand the food harvesting season and meet local demand, project funding will enable the farm to purchase a greenhouse to improve food production during the winter months.
- Book and Plow Farm in Amherst – $24,500 – With the purchase of a new shipping container to store produce, the farm will be able to increase its food distribution efforts to meet increased demand of products within the area.
- Food Link, Inc. in Arlington – $73,625 – To better serve individuals and families in over 25 area communities in Eastern Massachusetts, program funding will enable the organization to purchase a new vehicle for food distribution.
- Chicopee Public Schools Food Service Department – $153,300 – Program funding will enable the purchase of a food truck to deliver meals for distribution to both in-person and remote students.
- Our Neighbors’ Table in Amesbury – $141,000 – Project funding will provide critical infrastructure investments at several of the organization’s food distribution locations, such as churches, public schools, and councils on aging to improve the distribution of food insecure populations.
- Massachusetts Military Support Foundation Food4Vets Program’ in Bourne – $91,579 – Program funding will assist in the distribution of food to members of the military (both active and inactive service) and their families through the acquisition of a delivery vehicle and a food refrigeration unit.
- LEO Inc. in Lynn – $152,157 – To better serve the residents with the City of Lynn who are in need, the organization will utilize program funding to purchase a refrigerated cargo van. Additionally, storage and important kitchen infrastructure will be purchased, commercial refrigerator and freezer units, worktables, and insulated food containers.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston – $142,770 – The funding will enable the organization to implement a Facility Adaption Project, which includes updates and adaptations to BGCB Clubs to prepare for the reopening and/or to safely conduct programming in order to provide services to youth during the 2020-21 program year.
- Laura Inc. in Gloucester – $160,109 – With the need of nutritious proteins being made readily available within local communities, funding will purchase fish processing equipment as well as a chilling tank.
- Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton – $9,410 – To increase the longevity of fruit, reduce waste, and ensure a higher availability of produce for residents, funding will enable the organization to purchase freezer and refrigeration units.
- Princess Diana 1 Inc. in Gloucester – $84,000 – In an effort to increase groundfish harvesting, which a portion of the catch will go to local partners, such as food pantries, funding will purchase and install semi-pelagic trawl doors and electronic trawl door sensors on the groundfishing vessel FV Orion. The equipment will provide invaluable information regarding the location of fishing gear in relation to the bottom of the sea floor and how it is performing.
- Little Bit Farm & Apiary in Leicester – $7,714 – In an effort to increase produce for the public, funding will enable the organization to extend its harvesting season with the purchase of a heater for a greenhouse. Additionally, to increase the longevity of perishable foods, a new refrigerator will be purchased, which will ensure higher availability of products.
- RMV Inc. in Gloucester – $102,000 – To increase the longevity of harvested fish, RMV Fishing Corporation will be assisted with funding to purchase fish processing equipment to increase its shelf life and store it at a safe temperature. Furthermore, the funding of this project will help with the transporting of the product to local partners, which includes food pantries.
- Lowell Public Schools – $180,691 – In an effort to meet the increased need of food services due to the pandemic, the school system will utilize program funding to build a new refrigeration system, which will expand its remote feeding program. New equipment includes a refrigerated truck and walk-in freezer.
- GROWING PLACES GARDEN PROJECT INC in Leominster – $66,100 – The funding will enable the organization to expand the availability of its products to low income individuals and families by investing in equipment that enables SNAP payments. Furthermore, kitchen infrastructure, such as refrigeration storage, will allow better distribution of food to underserved individuals and families within the community.
- Berea Church Food Pantry (Greater Boston Food Bank Agency #455) in Dorchester – $171,784 – To better serve the residents within the City of Boston neighborhoods, the food pantry will use the program’s funding to purchase a delivery vehicle. Additionally, storage and IT equipment will be purchased to streamline and strengthen the process to distribute food to those in need.
- Reed Farm in Sunderland – $495,760 – To meet the demand within the region for high quality, local poultry, the farm will utilize funding to make significant upgrades to its existing poultry facility. These upgrades include the design and installation of a new septic system, a walk-in cooler and freezer, and a propane generator.
- Neighbors In Need Food Pantries in Lawrence – $54,757 – In an effort to meet an increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the food pantry, which distributes food to 13 locations within the Greater Lawrence area, will utilize funding to expand their food storage capacity. New Equipment includes refrigeration and freezer units, shelving, and tables.