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Fund the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) at $20 million!
We, The Greater Boston Food Bank, ask you to support increasing the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) funding to $20 million (line item DAR 2511-0105). This increase would allow the state's four food banks to provide an additional 2 million healthy meals. Reasons to Increase MEFAP: The need remains acute. 1 in 10 people in Massachusetts (about 700,000) is food insecure—meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. 1 in 8 children and 1 in 14 seniors in Massachusetts struggle with the same problem. Hunger impacts health. MEFAP enables the state’s food banks to consistently distribute the basics of a healthy, balanced diet. Research shows food-insecure people are at higher risk of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and depression. The health-related costs of hunger amount to $2.4 billion annually in Massachusetts alone. 2 million additional healthy meals. The food banks currently provide 83.7 million healthy meals annually, and 22.7 million of those meals were provided by $18 million in FY19 MEFAP funding. $20 million would provide an additional 2 million healthy meals to those in need (see reverse chart). MEFAP funding is used to purchase nutritious, high-demand product like fresh produce, dairy and protein. Helps the working poor. About a third of food-insecure people in Massachusetts are ineligible for SNAP (food stamps) and other federal nutrition programs, such as free and reduced-price school meals.* These families rely on the emergency hunger-relief system. Rising food costs. The weekly food budget shortfall for the food insecure in Massachusetts is over $19 per person— nearly 13 percent higher than the national average.* A family of four is short $76 worth of groceries a week. Supports Massachusetts businesses. More than 30 local farmers and more than half of the MEFAP food vendors are Massachusetts-based. These local farmers and food vendors supply more than 29 percent of MEFAP-purchased food. This direct investment in local farms and businesses strengthens the Massachusetts economy. Join us in our mission to end hunger by signing your name below!