Rep. Stanley Cosigns Food System Caucus Hunger Action Month Letter
As a member of the Food System Caucus, Rep. Stanley cosponsored a Hunger Action Month sign-on letter to Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Chair Michlewitz, and Chair Rodrigues. The letter outlines two budgetary priorities and three legislative priorities as well as Caucus initiatives in recognition of Hunger Action Month.
The letter requested: $30 million in budget funding for the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) to meet the increased demand on food banks caused by the pandemic and $17 million for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) which has been a long-standing priority of the Food System Caucus and is now receiving widespread attention as a critical program to combat food insecurity and support farmers during the COVID-19 crisis. The letter also requested the consideration and passage of three bills: one which provides civil liability protections to individuals, restaurants, and organizations that make direct food donations to persons in need; one which would provide “Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation” protections to supermarkets, restaurants, and farmers when charitably donating food; and a bill to establish a Massachusetts Healthy Incentives Fund to be administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance.
September is recognized as Hunger Action Month in the United States Over the past six months, the issue of food insecurity and access has been at the forefront of discussions both within Massachusetts and nationally. Reliance on local food systems has increased and we have seen a reinvestment in local agriculture. At the end of the month, the Caucus will update the Legislature on work being done to alleviate the hunger and food infrastructure crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.