Food is a basic human right.

So we advocate. We speak up and make our voices heard. We collaborate closely with Partner Agencies, community members, legislators and others to address the root causes of hunger. We advocate for food for today, food for tomorrow, food for everybody.

Our advocacy priorities include:

  1. Raising Wages and Increasing Economic Opportunity
  2. Supporting a Healthy and Equitable Food System
  3. Supporting and Protecting State/Federal Funding for Food Assistance Programs

To learn more about WCFB’s advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels, read on.

2018 Public Policy Advocacy Priorities

Local Level

Worcester’s Urban Agriculture Rezoning Initiative – Improving the zoning code will allow commercial urban agriculture activities in the city of Worcester. This will expand food access through farm stands in the city and support community and school gardens. It will also promote economic development and the local food system.

State Level

Fresh and organic vegetables at farmers marketFunding for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) – Launched in 2017, HIP provides a dollar-for-dollar match for SNAP purchases of fruits and vegetables at Massachusetts mobile and farmers’ markets, farm stands, and CSAs. HIP is economic development, health, and anti-hunger all in one. Our collaborative advocacy won HIP $6.15 million this year ($2.15 million in the supplemental budget and $4 million in the FY19 budget).

$15 Minimum Wage for Massachusetts workers – This will raise wages for 840,000 Massachusetts workers by 2023, lessening the financial burden for the 20% of people in WCFB’s network who are seeking food assistance and currently employed.

Breakfast After the Bell legislation – 150,000 kids in Massachusetts could benefit from this legislation, which ensures that all qualifying schools serve breakfast after the start of the school day. When children start their day free from hunger, it’s good for health, academic performance, and school bottom lines. (Vega H.327/DiDomenico S.242)

SNAP

Close the “SNAP Gap!” – More than 600,000 people in Massachusetts could see their food security improve if we created an efficient, single application for SNAP and MassHealth (Livingstone H.101/DiDomenico S.612)

Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) – Each year, we advocate for nutrient-rich foods and locally grown fresh produce to be state funded through MEFAP and distributed by the four Massachusetts food banks and their networks. MEFAP accounted for 40% of the food WCFB distributed last year.

Federal Level

foodbank_Healthy_Food_School

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger. We oppose harmful policy proposals including funding cuts, efforts to block grant or cap funding, impose restrictive work requirements or otherwise reduce benefits or restrict eligibility or participation in SNAP.

Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act – We support strengthening Summer Nutrition programs, expanding school meals in every state, and ensuring more children have a healthy start by improving early childhood nutrition programs.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – Each year, we advocate for TEFAP, which accounts for 22% of the food we distribute.

Speak Up! Become an Advocate.

Some Ways You Can Help:

  • Meet, call, or write your elected official.
  • Post on social media.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Attend a rally.
  • Give testimony.
  • Share your story or experience. You can do it here or contact us.
  • Sign up for Advocacy Action Alerts from WCFB. We’ll let you know when there’s an important letter to write or a call to be made to legislators. We’ll even give you some pointers to make it simple.