On Thursday June 25th, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash held six Economic Development Plan Listening Sessions across the state. The listening sessions occurred simultaneously in Worcester, Springfield, Quincy, Lynn, West Barnstable, and Lowell, and were facilitated by the Secretary’s staff.
The sessions were intended to “provide businesses and constituents an opportunity to help shape the Commonwealth’s economic development plan.” MPHA staff coordinated speakers at 4 out of the 6 sessions, with local advocates speaking on behalf of the Massachusetts Food Trust Program. Participants stressed the value of the program for not only improving access to healthy foods in our communities, but for increasing jobs and economic development as well.
Advocates such as Representative Dan Donohue, Lowell Economic Development Director Allison Lamey, Executive Director of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center Sue Joss, and Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Coordinator Vivian Ortiz (pictured), among others, all helped to spread the word that the Massachusetts Food Trust Program should be a priority when thinking about economic development in our communities.