At the Greater Boston Food Bank, our community is vital. This includes you, the families we serve, partner agencies, and the local farmers growing fresh produce all across Massachusetts. Together, we can end hunger here.
Through the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP), GBFB gets funding through what is known as the Massachusetts Grown Initiative. The Massachusetts Grown Initiative (Mass Grown) gives low-income individuals access to fresh produce while simultaneously providing a market for local farmers.
For over 22 years, Mass Grown has re-invested MEFAP funds into the state’s agricultural industry. It has also helped food banks maximize the nutritional value of their food.
With this funding, GBFB works closely with farms across the state, including the Pioneer Valley Growers Association (PVGA), a cooperative of farmers located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Thanks to this group of small farmers, 1 million pounds of fresh, seasonal vegetables, like radishes, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, kale, swiss chard, and peppers, are purchased at the lowest cost to us, then distributed to our clients.
“Working with GBFB has positively impacted our farmers in more ways than one,” Bill Barrington, Manager of PVGA shared. “It enables state funding to support small farming businesses, and we get the satisfaction that we’re providing nutrient-rich food for people in need.”
As GBFB continues to focus on the power of nutrition and increasing the volume of fresh produce, Mass Grown provides an incredible opportunity to source quality local products.