More information about pending legislation can also be found at the Massachusetts Public Health Association.
Your voice makes a difference, call your State Senator and Representative and urge them to support MEFAP and SNAP funding.
State House Switch Board: (617) 722-2000
Senate Ways and Means members from Western Mass. (click links for contact info):
Updated April 25th, 2013
Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP)
UPDATE: On April 22, 2013, The House debated an amendment that would have increased MEFAP $3 million to a total of $16 million. They decided on a $1 million increase to $14 million to be split between all food banks in the state. The State Senate will debate the budget in the near future.
Call to Action:
Contact your state senator and ask them to to increase MEFAP to $16 million.
If you do not know who your state senator is, you can find out here: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Search
Talking points to support your request:
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts currently serves approximately 135,000 people per year through its emergency feeding programs.
According to the 2009 Feeding America Hunger Study, 571,600 people statewide are in need of emergency food assistance. The same study showed that over half of emergency feeding program clients must visit emergency programs more than 6 times per year.
With declining federal resources, rising prices due to drought, and the economic impact of sequestration, MEFAP has never been more critical.
MEFAP meets core nutritional needs for struggling families (some of whom are not able to qualify for federal programs such as SNAP or WIC):
MEFAP also supports the Massachusetts economy by granting contracts to Massachusetts food distributors and local farmers:
MEFAP vendors include: Pioneer Valley Growers Association in South Deerfield, Szawlowski Farms in Hatfield, and Long Plain Farm in Whately
Massachusetts residents pay 12 percent more for meals compared to the national average. (source: Map the Meal Gap Study by Feeding America, March 2011)
A meal gap of nearly 122 million meals exists in the Commonwealth. This is the number of additional meals required for everyone in need across the state to have three meals a day. (source: Map the Meal Gap study by Feeding America, March 2011)