BOSTON, MA – Recently, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs completed the awarding of the summer Food System Infrastructure Grants. The goal of the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program is to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have equitable access to food, especially local food. The program also seeks to ensure that farmers, fishermen and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.
As part of the announcement, organizations and businesses across the South Shore were awarded over $500,000 to help them grow their operations to support food security in their area.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen food insecurity intensify across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “This funding will allow our local fishing, farming, and assistance organizations on the South Shore the ability to provide a wider variety of fresh food at a lower cost to residents.”
“Food insecurity, including a lack of fresh, local food, is a pressing issue across the Commonwealth, including in our district,” said Representative Meschino (D-Hull). “Our residents in Cohasset and Scituate will use this funding to improve food security and provide low-cost, fresh food to our community.”
“As a member of the State House Food Caucus and as someone who has worked in various areas in our local fishing industry, I’m proud to support funding that helps our coastal economy and supports those most in need of affordable food sources,” added Representative Patrick Kearney (D-Scituate).
See below for a breakdown of where funding is headed on the South Shore:
- $243,250 to Mullaney’s Fish Market to partner with XII Northeast Fishery Sector and Friends of South Shore Seafood Development and purchase equipment to increase their overall processing capacity.
- $31,057 to the Friends of Holly Hill Farm, Inc. to fund the purchase of a high tunnel and greenhouse, which will improve the farm’s infrastructure to grow seedings year-round and produce more efficiently.
- $35,000 to The Outreach Program to purchase a new van to deliver ingredients and packaged meals to food pantries and homeless shelters.
- $41,000 to the Fishing Vessel Phoenix to upgrade their fish finder electronics and purchase new low environmental impact fishing gear that will allow for the harvesting of underutilized species. The investment will diversify the availability of seafood to consumers and utilize species that are more affordable to food insecure and low-income tract communities.
- $891.01 to the Marshfield Farmers’ Market to expand virtual components of the farmers market by allowing for ordering, pickup, and local food distribution.
- $82,600 to Motor Vessel Yankee Rose, Inc. to purchase fish processing equipment to provide more consistent quality of fish caught.
- $82,600 to the Fishing Vessel Cheryl Ann to purchase fish processing equipment that will allow them to increase production. Importantly, a portion of the catch will be donated to the Scituate Food Pantry for those in need.
This grant program implements the recommendations of the Food Security Task Force, which was convened by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center in response to increased demands for food assistance. The task force is composed of a broad group of public and private members charged with ensuring food insecurity and food supply needs are addressed during the COVID-19 public health emergency.