- Department of Transitional Assistance
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Launches Grant Program to Expand Local Food Access for Low-Income Residents
Alana Davidson, Director of Communications
Boston — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a grant program to support farmers and farmers’ markets and expand local food access points for low-income residents across the Commonwealth. The grant program provides equipment at no cost to direct-marketing farms and farmers’ markets to facilitate the acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at mobile locations. These additional SNAP access points will increase the availability of fresh, healthy food and drive federal dollars into the state’s economy.
The grant application period opens August 12, 2021 and farmers and farmers’ markets can apply through September 24, 2021.
“The Baker-Polito Administration has been addressing increased food insecurity across the Commonwealth resulting from economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “This SNAP equipment grant program is one of several tools the Administration has employed, alongside the $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program and the addition of 39 new Healthy Incentives Program vendors, to increase access to local food for residents facing food insecurity in the communities where they live.”
The free mobile SNAP processing equipment, provided by Novo Dia Group, is available to eligible agricultural vendors, including new SNAP vendors and those in need of new equipment. Available equipment does not process credit or debit. More information on the grant opportunity, applicant eligibility, and eligible equipment package.
The grant program is offered through the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and with financial support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Leveraging SNAP to purchase local products is a vital tool in our work to address equitable access to healthy food across the state. In addition to increasing access to fresh, locally-grown food for SNAP clients, this grant program also brings critical economic support to our local farms and communities,” said Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Amy Kershaw.
“We are pleased to support this grant initiative, which will provide additional farmers and farmers’ markets the ability to process SNAP payments from their customers,” says Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We thank DTA and USDA for their support of farmers here in the Commonwealth.”
This grant program builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to address food insecurity and strengthen the Commonwealth’s food system now and into the future:
- Investing $5 million in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) to bring on 39 new retailers and launch DTA Finder
- Establishing a $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program, with $15 million in additional funds included in the FY22 Capital Plan
- Providing Emergency SNAP Benefits and increasing SNAP benefit amounts by 15% to support over 550,000 households, bringing $84 million of federal funds into the state each month
- Launching the SNAP Online Purchasing Program to allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy groceries online from participating retailers, with over $88 million in transactions to date
DTA assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in eight residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance and food assistance, as well as workforce training opportunities.