The Massachusetts Food Trust Program, established in law in 2014, would provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to support new and expanded healthy food retailers and local food enterprises in low and moderate income communities. This could include grocery stores, corner stores, farmer’s markets, mobile markets, community kitchens, food co-ops, food truck commissaries, indoor and outdoor greenhouses, and food distribution hubs.
MPHA and our partners won significant victories during the 2015-2016 legislative cycle by securing $6M in authorized capital funds and $100K in administrative funds for the Massachusetts Food Trust. Now, we must work hard to make sure that the capital funds are released to seed this important program. To help advocate for the Food Trust, please sign up for action alerts below.
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:
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|
Sign your organization up as a supporter of the MA Food Trust — click, here.
Sign up for MA Food Trust action alerts . Contact MPHA Coalition and Advocacy Manager, Kristina St. Cyr at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in writing an OpEd or Letter to the Editor? Contact Kristina St. Cyr at: email@example.com for more details.
MA Food Trust in the News
- Revere Wants to Close Grocery Gap — ItemLive.com (May 9, 2017)
- 40 percent of state is a food desert, says new report — Boston 25 News (May 5, 2017)
- Data shows gateway cities, rural areas trapped in ‘grocery gap’ — State House News (April 12, 2017)
- Program Pledging Healthy Foods in Low-Income Areas Lacks Funding — State House News (March 30, 2016)
- Advocates press Baker to release funds for healthy foods initiative – The Boston Globe (Jan. 5, 2016)
- MPHA Executive Director’s interview with the Boston.com WRKO Morning Show (Jan. 7, 2016)
- MPHA Exectutive Director and Dorchester Community Food Coop interview with WBUR Radio Boston (Jan. 7, 2016)
Op Eds and Editorials:
- Rebekah Gewirtz and Chris Flynn: Here’s hoping Governor Baker has hit on recipe for healthy food in needy areas — Boston Globe (Sept. 26, 2016)
- Food is Big Business, Seek its Just Deserts — Boston Business Journal (July 8, 2016)
- Affordable Food: Everett’s Pathway to Health and Economic Vitality — Everett Independent (Nov. 5, 2015)
- Lauren Levesque: Boosting health, economy with access to healthy food — Berkshire Eagle (Sept. 6, 2015)
- Rebekah Gewirtz: Mass could do more to boost access to healthy, affordable food — Boston Globe (June 2, 2015)
- Affordable Food Area’s Pathway to Health and Economic Vitality — Lowell Sun (May 26, 2015)
- Food needs should be addressed in budget: Editorial — Springfield Republican (May 18, 2015)
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.
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.
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|
|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|