BOSTON (WWLP) – A new state grant program will provide support to farmers and farmers’ markets and expand local food access points for low-income residents statewide.
The funding provides equipment at no cost to direct-marketing farms and farmers’ markets to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at mobile locations, providing additional SNAP access to fresh, healthy food, and drive federal dollars into the state’s economy.
The grant program is offered through the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and with financial support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This grant program builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to address food insecurity and strengthen the Commonwealth’s food system now and into the future:
- Investing $5 million in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) to bring on 39 new retailers and launch DTA Finder
- Establishing a $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program, with $15 million in additional funds included in the FY22 Capital Plan
- Providing Emergency SNAP Benefits and increasing SNAP benefit amounts by 15% to support over 550,000 households, bringing $84 million of federal funds into the state each month
- Launching the SNAP Online Purchasing Program to allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy groceries online from participating retailers, with over $88 million in transactions to date
For more information on the grant opportunity, applicant eligibility, and eligible equipment package, go to Mass.gov/SNAPEquipmentGrant. The grant application period runs August 12, 2021 and farmers and farmers’ markets can apply through September 24, 2021.