Gobi Announces Passage of Two Food Policy Initiatives

Sunday, May 27, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

Senator Anne Gobi passes two food policy initiatives
Senator Anne Gobi announced the passage of a pair of Senate budget initiatives targeted at increasing access to fresh, local foods.

The two initiatives are the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) and Buy Local.

“We are so fortunate to have farmers and farms that supply a variety of products. These programs ensure quality produce is available for those who may not normally have access, and I will continue to do all I can to assist them because we all benefit from locally grown and locally available food,” said Senator Gobi.

The Initiatives

HIP, which was launched in 2017, provides monthly incentives to SNAP households when they purchase fresh, local healthy vegetables and fruits from Massachusetts farmers at farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs and mobile markets.

Sen. Gobi’s amendment increased funding of this program to $4,000,000, bringing it in line with the House budget and ensuring its inclusion in the final budget delivered to the Governor for signature.

Since the program’s inception, local farms have sold $3.8 million in fruits and vegetables to over 37,000 SNAP families and over 60,000 individuals.

Gobi was also successful in securing $500,000 for Buy Local initiatives in western, central, northeastern and southern Massachusetts. 

With more than 7,755 farms and with generated sales over $492 million, Massachusetts farms play an important role in the Massachusetts economy. Buy Local campaigns work to connect farms to consumers and boosting this industry, while increasing access to locally grown, healthy foods.

This would be a $200,000 increase in funding from the FY18 budget.

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