Worcester County Food Bank’s (WCFB) mission is to engage, educate, and lead Worcester County in creating a hunger-free community, so its efforts go beyond the distribution of donated food. Together with its network of partner agencies, WCFB works on implementing best practices in food and nutrition assistance and collaborates with a variety of leaders at the local, state, and federal levels to create sustainable solutions to hunger through systemic change.
WCFB believes that food is a fundamental right of all people and that hunger is an issue of social justice. WCFB is a leading advocate for promoting access to healthy food by improving the quality of school breakfast and lunch, expanding the summer food service program, and increasing funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps. These systemic and sustainable solutions support children, families, and senior citizens in being more food secure and healthy.
WCFB helped to establish the Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council in 2006 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]
- Feeding America [Website]
- Food Research and Action Center [Website]
- MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger [Website]
- Share Our Strength [Website]
2015 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.
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.
Establish a Statewide Healthy Incentives Program (SD136) Senator Donoghue and Representative Vega. – Provide a premium benefit to SNAP beneficiaries when purchasing fruits and vegetables, bringing to scale the successful USDA pilot program implemented in Hampden County.
Implement and Fund the MA Food Trust ($2.5 million for MA State Budget line item 7007-300) – 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.
- 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.