Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Advancing Food Policy

I was happy to host the Massachusetts Food Policy Council’s meeting today at the Massachusetts State House. The meeting today focused on some of the goals established under the Massachusetts Local Food Action plan.  The MA Local Food Action Plan was accepted by the MA Food Policy Council on December 10, 2015 and designed to increase production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown food. Today’s meeting focused on the goals of establishing support programs that facilitate access to healthy foods for underserved communities.  A current focus is to provide support to leverage the Department of Transitional Assistance’s USDA/FINI grant award, known as the Healthy Incentives Program, which will increase use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and for community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, providing fresh, healthy food for low-income families, and increasing sales for Massachusetts farmers.  Additional examples include the MA Food Trust and the MA Food Ventures Program.

The Food Policy Council is a 17 member council and  was established on November 7, 2010 under section 6C of Chapter 20 and the purpose of the council is to develop recommendations to advance the following food system goals for the commonwealth through: (A) increased production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods; (B) the development and promotion of programs that deliver healthy Massachusetts-grown foods to Massachusetts residents, (C) the protection of the land and water resources required for sustained local food production; and (D) the training, retention and recruitment of farmers and providing for the continued economic viability of local food production, processing and distribution in the commonwealth.

For additional information on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council please visit its website which is located here:  Below are photos from today’s meeting