The Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) was established in 1995 to ensure that residents in need have access to a supply of quality food in the Commonwealth. The program is implemented through a unique partnership between the state and a private, non-profit food distribution network made up of four regional food banks. Funding is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
MEFAP ensures a consistent supply of quality nutrient dense foods and locally grown fresh produce to a statewide network of over 894 emergency food providers. Each provider is a member of one of the four food bank distribution centers:
- The Greater Boston Food Bank
- The Merrimack Valley Food Bank
- The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
- The Worcester County Food Bank
For Fiscal Year 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, the four regional food banks collectively distributed over 143 million pounds of food, about 35 million pounds, (a 25.4% increase over FY20) which was purchased through MEFAP. Total funding provided through the Department of Agricultural Resources for MEFAP was $30,000,000.00, an increase of $10M, or 50% over FY20.