GBFB’s Statement on Historic Food Security Investments in ARPA Funding Bill
December 14, 2021 – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) applauds Governor Baker’s signing of “An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs,” the pandemic relief bill that utilizes funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed by President Biden in March, which includes $44.8 million towards investments to support food security for families across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Nearly half of this investment ($22 million) is going to The Greater Boston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for major infrastructure enhancements. This will significantly strengthen the two largest food bank networks in the state that together serve communities where close to 90% of the state’s food insecure population lives.
- An additional third of this investment to improve food insecurity is going to 72 key food pantries and meal programs to help these organizations increase capacity and their ability to serve more people in need.
- $1.92 million is going to Project Bread for a statewide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach and awareness campaign to increase program access and participation and bring additional federal funding into the state.
- $3.74 million has also been allocated to address the issue of college student food insecurity and help accelerate pending legislation that would provide colleges with technical assistance and funding to address food insecurity on campus.
These investments will be critical as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and better position the hunger-relief network in Massachusetts to respond to the future needs of our community. With the current rise in food costs and the impending end to the boosted SNAP emergency allotment benefits, there is still more to be done as we work together to end hunger here.