Policy Priorities

As need continues to grow and programs that serve the hungry need constant and consistent support, it is vital we do all that we can to ensure that vulnerable people have the food they need.

State Policy Priorities

1. Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP)
The Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) helps provide nutritious food in every community in the Commonwealth through funding the four state food banks (Merrimack Valley Food Bank, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, and GBFB).

ASK: $30 million in FY23 budget

2. Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) doubles SNAP recipients’ ability to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers. This program is a win-win: improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities and investing in local agriculture.

ASK: Maintain $13 million to fully fund HIP and expand access to its benefits (Budget line item 4400-1004)

3. Hunger-Free CampusesBags full of food for CSFP boxes.
GBFB is co-leading the Hunger-Free Campus Coalition, an effort to promote food access among college students at two- and four-year public higher education institutions in Massachusetts. The Hunger-Free Campus Coalition is promoting legislation to be filed this year to promote “hunger-free” campuses across the state.

ASK: Support HD 2969 and SD 1477 in FY23 legislative session

4. Common App Gap
GBFB is a partner within a coalition led by Mass Law Reform Institute and the MA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers that aims to create a common application for SNAP, MassHealth, and DTA cash assistance programs.

ASK: Support HD 1500 and SD 1015 in FY21-22 legislative session

5. Lift Our Kids
GBFB is a partner within a coalition led by Greater Boston Legal Services and Mass Law Reform Institute that aims to raise cash assistance grants by 20% a year until the maximum grant reaches half the federal poverty level.

ASK: Support HD 1158 and SD 430 in FY21-22 legislative session

6. Universal School Meals
GBFB is a partner within a coalition led by Project Bread that aims to provide access to school meals for all children in Massachusetts.

ASK: Support HD 1161 and SD 519 in FY21-22 legislative session

Federal Policy Priorities

1. Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Response
GBFB is focused on working with our Massachusetts Congressional delegation to continue to advocate for more COVID-19 relief from Congress. This includes increases in and expansion of SNAP, increased unemployment relief, USDA program improvements, and funding relief to states.Woman in a mask grocery shopping

ASK: Support progressive COVID-19 stimulus relief from Congress

2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
As our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, SNAP helps more than 40 million low-income Americans afford food. In Massachusetts, for every 1 meal distributed by a food bank, SNAP provides 5 meals.

ASK: Support and strengthen SNAP

3. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
This USDA program supplements the diets of low-income Americans, particularly senior citizens, by providing emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.

ASK: Invest and streamline USDA food assistance programs

4. Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) supports food access for low-income seniors. GBFB oversees this program for 2,000 MA seniors and is the only administrator for the state.

ASK: Increase current caseload for MA

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For more information, contact Catherine Drennan Lynn, Sr. Director, Public Affairs at

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