WCFB believes that food is a fundamental right of all people and that hunger is an issue of social justice. Through advocacy, we engage our partners, communities, and elected officials in creating long term solutions to address the root causes of hunger.
We believe to end hunger we need to support policy changes that:
- Raise Wages & Increase Economic Opportunity
- Support a Healthy & Equitable Food System
- Support and Protect State and Federal Funding for Food Assistance Programs
2016 Public Policy Advocacy Priorities
Worcester’s Urban Agriculture Rezoning Initiative – amending the zoning code will allow commercial urban agricultural activities in the city of Worcester, supporting economic development and the local food system.
Fight for $15 – TIFs are tax incentive agreements made with developers on projects in the City of Worcester. The Worcester Community Labor Coalition is asking that the City’s TIF Policy specify that developers must pay a minimum wage of $15/hour for all new jobs created, and that women, people of color, and persons from low-income communities be targeted in hiring.
Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) – MEFAP provides a consistent supply of quality, nutrient-rich foods and locally grown fresh produce to residents of the Commonwealth through the four Massachusetts Food Banks and their collective network of 845 food pantries, community meal programs, and shelters.
Close the “SNAP Gap”! (Through outside budget language or H.429) – Create a common application for Mass Health and SNAP benefits (as well as other DTA administered benefits), thus improving efficiency and increasing food security for over 570,000 people who are on MassHealth and qualify for SNAP.
Establish a living wage for employees of big box retail stores and fast food chains (S.1024).. – Establish a $15/hour minimum wage at big box retail and fast food chains.
Implement and Fund the MA Food Trust ($500,000 FY17 Budget line item 7007-0300, H.3983, $10 million over 5 years). – The MA Food Trust Program, established by law in 2014, would provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to support new and expanded healthy food retailers and food enterprises in low and moderate income communities.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act – Priorities for the coming reauthorization include strengthening the Summer Nutrition Programs so they can meet the needs of children and communities when school is out, continuing to support the momentum of school breakfast expansion in every state, and ensuring more children have a healthy start by improving early childhood nutrition programs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – oppose funding cuts and harmful policy proposals including efforts to block grant or cap funding; impose restrictive work requirements; or otherwise reduce benefits or restrict eligibility or participation.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – encourage the Secretary of Agriculture to apply bonus TEFAP purchase criteria as generously as possible and make fruits and vegetables purchases for TEFAP early and often to increase the availability of TEFAP commodities.
Become an Advocate!
- Sign up to receive action alerts from WCFB’s advocacy partners listed above (scroll down to Stay Connected).
- Contact your state and federal elected officials to ask them to support programs and policies like the ones mentioned above that support people in being hunger-free and healthy.
- Share Your Story
WCFB works with partners to achieve its advocacy goals. In 2006, WCFB helped to establish the Worcester Food Policy Council and served as co-chair of its Hunger-Free & Healthy Project from 2007-2012. A WCFB staff member serves as the Council’s Project Director. In addition to the Council, WCFB’s advocacy partners include:
- Food SNAP Coalition, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute [Website]
- Massachusetts Public Health Association [Website]
- Project Bread [Website]
- Food Solutions New England [Website]