State Funding Needed for COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance

Published on May 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched the limits of the emergency food assistance system. The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) and our partners are distributing record high levels of food across the Commonwealth. However, we cannot do this work alone.

We are experience skyrocketing levels of unemployment, and according to Feeding America, 1 in 5 Massachusetts residents has been identified as food insecure – rates higher than experienced during the Great Recession. 

We need the Legislature’s support to continue our work of feeding the Commonwealth.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic ramifications, food banks, food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and our allies have stepped up to meet this unprecedented need. We need government partners and their resources brought to bear to stand with us in this work.

SNAP Outreach

One such program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As the front line of defense, this program ensures that people can continue to buy their own food at the grocery store. However, for many, the current SNAP benefit is not enough.

That’s why the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) – state funding that addresses the immediate food needs of Massachusetts residents by providing the staples of a healthy diet – remains so critical.

The Food Bank Coalition of Massachusetts requests:

  • $6.3 million from any future supplemental funding approved for COVID-19 relief to address the immediate need to acquire, store, and distribute foods.
  • $30 million be appropriated for MEFAP in the FY21 Budget.

While the need is immediate, we know there will be lasting effects from this crisis as communities, businesses, and families struggle to recover. This additional funding is necessary to address the scope of this unprecedented emergency as unemployment rates are expected to rise and stay high through the next year.

Call to Action 

  • Call your State Legislators and urge them to prioritize food assistance during this crisis. Specifically, ask them to support:
    • $6.3 million in supplemental funding for COVID-19 relief for food assistance.
    • $30 million in the FY21 Budget for MEFAP.
  • Share the word on social media!
    • Suggested social media post: “#COVID19 has caused many families & individuals to feel the sting of hunger. We need MA to step up and support people in need. I’m calling on @MySenator & @MyRepresentative to fund food assistance NOW & In FY21 #MEFAPMatters #MApoli”

GBFB continues to be there for our neighbors in need, providing vital food assistance to support healthy lifestyles. Now more than ever, food access and food security are issues of equity.

Please join us in taking on this crisis and ensuring that no one goes hungry.

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