Massachusetts Food Trust Program

The Massachusetts Food Trust Program is a public/private partnership overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and administered by the Local Enterprise Assistance Fund and Franklin County Community Development Corporation.  The program provides loans, grants, and business assistance to support new and expanding health food retailers and local food enterprises in low and moderate income communities, in order to increase access to healthy foods and spur economic development.

The capital funds released by the Program offer local food businesses both small grants and below market rate loans. This lessens the risk for borrowers and provides a starting point that draws traditional capital lenders to the projects.  The Program also provides pre-and-post loan technical assistance, in order to ensure that entrepreneurs are getting access to the resources they need to be successful and sustainable.

  • Click here for the MA Food Trust Program Fact Sheet.
  • For one-page summaries of all funded projects, click here.
  • To visit the MA Food Trust Program website, click here.
  • To view program eligibility criteria, click here.
  • To  apply for funding, click here.

The Facts   

Data collected by The Food Trust shows that 2.8 million people living in low income areas in Massachusetts lack access to grocery stores, including more than 700,000 children and 523,000 seniors. Grocery stores included chain and independent markets with annual food sales of $2 million or more. Low income areas were based on incomes lower than the state wide per capita income level of  $36, 895.

Top Massachusetts Cities with the most significant Grocery Gap:

  1. Chelsea
  2. Springfield
  3. Taunton
  4. Everett
  5. Revere
  6. Lawrence
  7. Lowell
  8. Lynn
  9. Brockton
  10. Chicopee

The maps below highlight the grocery gap  in the counties of the top ten cities in Massachusetts with low grocery store access. Fact sheets provide info on the potential impact of the Massachusetts Food Trust Program to help reduce food access disparities in cities like Revere, Springfield and  Lawrence by expanding the capacity of local farmers’ markets, and bodegas and building more grocery stores.

Berkshire County Grocery Access Map Hampden County Grocery Access Map Suffolk County Grocery Access Map
Bristol County Grocery Access Map Merrimack Valley Grocery Access Map

Additional Resources

The Food Trust| Emerging HFFI Programs
A list of the emerging Healthy Food Financing Initiative programs across the county including the Massachusetts Food Trust Program with additional information.

Municipal Strategies to Increase Food Access Toolkit
A report that presents strategies and methods to increase food access and food production in municipal systems. The toolkit is a tool that municipal staff, board members and community food advocates can utilize to improve food access in their towns and cities.

Sowing Seeds at the State Level: How Legislatures Strengthen Local Food Systems
A webinar featuring MPHA, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

Healthy Food Access Portal
Find contact information for your elected officials, here.

Good Food Massachusetts: Municipal Resource Guide
The purpose of this resource guide is to inform local leaders of many resources available to increase access to healthy, affordable food and to make Massachusetts municipalities a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play.

2014 Environmental Bond Bill – Healthy Food Financing Language

Supporting Organizations to Date

Click here to add your organization to the list.

 Act FRESH Campaign  Henry P. Kendall Foundation
 Allston Brighton Community  Development Corporation  Hilltown Community Development Corporation
 Allston Brighton Health  Collaborative  Hispanic-American Institute
 American Academy of Pediatrics – Massachusetts  Chapter  Historic Boston Inc.
 American Heart/Stroke Association  Hockomock Area YMCA
 Be Well Berkshires  Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council
 Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO)  Hospitality and Recreation Management Program, Quinsigamond  Community College
 Berkshire Regional Planning Commission  Joint Coalition on Health
 BOLD Teens/Codman Square Neighborhood Council  Local Enterprise Assistance Fund
 Boston Alliance for Community Health  Madison Park Development Corporation
 Boston Community Capital  Massachusetts Alliance of YMCAs
 The Boston Foundation  Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations
 Boston Public Health Commission  Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging
 Brighton Main Streets  Massachusetts Association of Health Boards
 Brockton Neighborhood Health Center  Massachusetts Dietetic Association
 Brockton 21st Century Corporation  Massachusetts Farm to School
 Brockton’s Promise Healthy Start Promise Team  Massachusetts Food Association
 Cambridge Food & Fitness Policy Council  Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
 Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission  Massachusetts Public Health Association
 Children’s Health Watch  Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition
 CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)  Metropolitan Area Planning Council
 City Fresh Foods  Metro South Chamber of Commerce
 CitySprouts  MetroWest Moves
 CommonWealth Kitchen  Mill City Grows
 Community Development Partnership  Montachusett Regional Planning Commission
 Community Health Network Area 9  Neighboring Food Co-op Association
 Community Servings  New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
 Common Capital, Inc.  Northeast Harvest
 Conservation Law Foundation  Old Colony YMCA
 Conservation Law Foundation Ventures  Partners for a Healthier Community/Live Well Springfield
 Cooperative Fund of New England  Peppers Fine Catering
 Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation   Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
 Dorchester Community Food Coop  Regional Environmental Council of Central MA
 The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Revere on the Move

Roxbury in Motion

 The Food Trust  Springfield Food Policy Council
 Franklin County Community Development Corporation  Springfield Partners for Community Action
 Franklin Regional Council of Governments  Sustainable Nantucket
 The Fresh Truck  The Trustees of Reservations
 The Food Project  United Neighbors of Fall River
 Fun ‘N FITchburg  Vicente’s Tropical Market
 Greater Lowell Health Alliance  Voices for a Healthy South Coast
 Groundwork Lawrence  Worcester Common Ground, Inc.
 Growing Places  Worcester County Food Bank
 Health Care For All  Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council
 Health Care Without Harm  Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
 The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts
 Health Resources in Action