State legislature looks to restore some funding for local food banks

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BOSTON (WWLP) – More than 800,000 of the state’s residents put food on the family table with help from the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program.

The new state budget includes $17 million for the program, money that will allow local food banks to support hungry residents.

The funding allows four regional food banks to purchase and distribute food to children, veterans, families and elderly residents in need.

Headquartered in Hatfield, the Food Bank of western Massachusetts will use that funding to purchase a quarter of the food they distribute.

“There’s a number of food pantries in my district,” State Rep. Paul Mark told 22News. “There’s a giant food bank in Hatfield and I think they do a really good job serving the public and helping people out when they’re in their most desperate times of need.”

Governor Baker vetoed nearly $700,000 in MEFAP funding from the conference committee’s budget.

Lawmakers hope to override Baker’s veto and restore that funding later this legislative session, which will resume in September.

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