Fund the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) at $20 million!

Fund the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) at $20 million!

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The Greater Boston Food Bank started this petition to Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

     

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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! 

 

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