“We Can Do Better Than 48th in the Nation”: Advocates Increase Efforts for Healthy Food Access

Woman shopping at Daily Table - from RadioBoston article

MPHA and our partners have been expanding our efforts in advocating funding for the MA Food Trust Program, which will increase healthy food access and create much needed jobs in neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth. Thanks to our mounting efforts in pressing Governor Baker to fund the program, the Boston Globe published an article on January 5th chronicling the cross-sector movement behind funding the MA Food Trust.  The article sparked interest from two local radio stations whose hosts were shocked to learn that Massachusetts ranks 48th in the nation for grocery access and that a solution to problem, The MA Food Trust, has yet to be funded despite that fact that it will require minimal state investment for a large return.

MPHA has been leading the charge since prior to 2014, when the MA Food Trust was established in law as part of the Environmental Bond Bill.  The Bill included $2 million in allocated bond funds for the MA Food Trust Program. The Administration has failed to release funds for the program prompting MPHA and our partners to increase our efforts for healthy food access. In addition to MPHA, the Globe article quotes advocates from Mill City GrowsPartners for a Healthier Community in Springfield, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. MPHA Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz was featured on both the Boston.com Morning Show with Kim Carrigan and WBUR’s Radio Boston with Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about the tremendous impacts the MA Food Trust Program will have when fully funded.  Local MPHA partner Jenny Silverman of the Dorchester Community Food Coop joined Rebekah on Radio Boston to provide a local community based perspective on why increased access to healthy foods is necessary in Boston neighborhoods.

If you are interested in getting involved with the campaign to fund the Massachusetts Food Trust Program, contact Kristina St. Cyr at: kstcyr@mapublichealth.org.

Read: Advocates press Baker to release funds for healthy foods initiative – The Boston Globe
Listen: MPHA Executive Director’s interview with the Boston.com Morning Show
Listen: MPHA Exectutive Director and Dorchester Community Food Coop interview with Radio Boston

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