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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES SUMMER FOOD RESOURCES AND PROGRAMMING


MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES SUMMER FOOD RESOURCES AND PROGRAMMING

City of Boston to offer 97 youth meal sites, issue RFP for food distribution at BHA sites; Boston Resiliency Fund to provide funding to support food access this summer

BOSTON - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Office of Food Access today announced programs and resources for individuals and families in need of food this summer. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the closing of Boston Public Schools (BPS), the City of Boston has provided more than two million free meals at youth and adult meal sites at 68 sites across the City through a partnership between BPS, Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF), Boston Housing Authority (BHA), YMCA, and other community organizations.

"Our work in providing food during the COVID-19 public health emergency is a great example of our City coming together to support our residents and their biggest and most immediate needs," said Mayor Walsh. "We look forward to continuing to meet residents' food needs during the summer and beyond, while increasing their purchasing power and supporting our local economy."

With the launch of these new programs and services for the summer, adult meal sites opened in response to COVID-19 will stop services on Friday, July 3. The City of Boston will continue offering meal sites for youth throughout 97 locations opening on July 6, 2020, including sites in Boston Public Schools, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Boston Housing Authority, YMCA and community-based organizations. BPS will continue providing meals delivery to students who regularly receive door-to-door transportation. As COVID-19 continues to impact the City of Boston, the following efforts are underway to support individuals and families in Boston experiencing food insecurity: 

Summer Eats 2020 to provide 97 youth meal sites:

On July 6, 97 youth meal sites will open through the City of Boston's Summer Eats 2020 program. Launched by Mayor Walsh in 2017, Boston Summer Eats, in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital, provides nutritious breakfast and lunch at no cost to Boston youth 18 and under during the summer months. No ID or registration is required. Unlike previous years where many youth meal sites were limited to participants in summer programming, this year all sites are open to all youth in the City of Boston. For locations, please visit here

Support from the Boston Resiliency Fund:

The Boston Resiliency Fund (BRF) has granted over $13 million to organizations devoted to helping Bostonians with access to food and other basic needs. The BRF's $2 million of contributions to the Greater Boston Food Bank have supported the distribution of enough food for 1.2 million meals, with a portion of that funding helping to establish a City program that has delivered over 375,000 pounds of food to public housing and senior households. Another BRF grantee, Fresh Truck, has delivered almost 28,000 fresh produce boxes. Organizations receiving funding that will support food access this summer include: 
  • Funding for Mass Farmers Market will provide access to farm fresh local fruit and vegetables for families, seniors, and individuals this summer. The program will provide weekly coupons to those in need regardless of immigration status, while supporting the local economy and urban agriculture. A map of farmers markets in the City, days and hours of operation, and available payment methods can be found here.
  • Funding for Fair Foods to continue providing perishable vegetables, fruit and bread for free at community organizations in East Boston, Dorchester and Allston
  • Funding for Fresh Truck to expand their Fresh Air Market sites to more than 15 Boston sites in Hyde Park, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, Charlestown, and other neighborhoods around the city. Fresh Air Markets are also an eligible vendor for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
  • Funding for Project Bread will develop and implement a public awareness campaign to promote Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment and utilization, targeting SNAP gap households and other eligible but unenrolled families. These funds will provide operational and additional language support to the FoodSource Hotline to meet the increased demand on SNAP applications and train community-based organizations and health centers to screen for SNAP eligibility and support with applications 
 Boston Housing Authority to issue RFP for $3 million in food distribution: 
  • The Boston Housing Authority (BHA), in partnership with the City of Boston, has issued a request for proposal for qualified firms to distribute up to $3 million worth of meals to BHA sites across the city. The proposed food distribution program envisions daily distribution of varied and culturally relevant meals, Monday through Friday, at BHA sites around the city.
     
  • Leveraging federal aid, the new initiative will help address a variety of short- and long-term nutritional needs for low-income families in Boston's public housing communities. The funding is expected to help finance logistical help to feed up to 430,000 meals to 4,100 extremely low-income households through December 2020.
     
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency, BHA, the City of Boston, and many private partners have stepped up efforts to provide much-needed meals to low-income communities facing economic hardship and food insecurity, and this investment is expected to help BHA and the City to streamline these efforts.
With the launch of these new programs and services, adult meal sites opened in response to COVID-19 will stop services on Friday, July 3. Adults accessing these sites are also encouraged to utilize existing resources including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For Information on eligibility and applications, please call the Project Bread Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. A list of food pantries can be found at www.gbfb.org/need-food/ and resources will be available through the Office of Food Access at boston.gov/food.


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