New MA Local Food Action Plan Addresses Access to Healthy, Affordable Foods

Matthew Beaton, Secretary, MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA)

On December 18, 2015, the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), Matthew Beaton, and the Commissioner of MA Department of Agricultural Resources, John Lebeauxofficially released the new “Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan” in Greenfield, MA. Commonly referred to as the “Food Plan,” it is a comprehensive review of the Commonwealth’s assets and challenges relative to local food production, processing, distribution, health and safety, access, and equity. Among the 150 recommendations made in the Food Plan are several aimed at improving access to healthy and affordable foods. They include support for implementing the Massachusetts Food Trust and increasing access to SNAP benefits. Funding the MA Food Trust and increasing SNAP access are both policy priorities of the MPHA-led Act FRESH coalition.

Winton Pitcoff, lead author of the MA Local Food Action Plan

Winton Pitcoff, lead author of the MA Local Food Action Plan

In his remarks, EEA Secretary Beaton promised that the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan would not “collect dust” and expressed commitment from the Baker-Polito administration to take implementation of the Food Plan seriously. State Representative Stephen Kulik highlighted the link between the Food Plan and workforce development and expressed his eagerness to help make the plan a reality. Other elected and appointed officials at the event included Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Susannah Whipps Lee.

Read: MA Food Plans’ MA Local Food Action Plan: Goals and Recommendations

Visit: MA Food Plan webpage

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