As part of the fourth round of the new $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program from Governor Baker, the Lynn YMCA of Metro North has been awarded $130,000 to ensure that individuals and families have equitable access to healthy, local food. This round  of the grant includes 47 awards totaling nearly $6 million to fund critical investments in technology, equipment, capacity, and other assistance that will help local food producers, especially with distribution in food insecure communities.

The funding will enable the YMCA of Metro North to purchase a refrigerated van to deliver meals, distribute food donations and service supplies, obtain equipment to increase capacity at several Y locations, and create cafeteria space to serve food at the Lynn YMCA.

“These funds will ensure that the Lynn YMCA has the necessary infrastructure to distribute food and help keep the community healthy throughout the pandemic,” said Senator Brendan Crighton. “Right now it is more important than ever to work together to ensure that individuals and families across the Commonwealth have equitable access to nutritious meals.”

“Food insecurity was on the rise before the pandemic hit. More partnership and funding for nutrition programs are vital as families continue to struggle in the long road to recovery ahead,” says Andrea Baez, Senior Branch Executive of the Lynn YMCA. “Sen. Crighton is a crucial ally in helping us expand our food distribution efforts, especially to children who need a safe place to find a meal when they are not in school.”

Applicants were evaluated based on equity, economic impact and need, sustainability and scalability of efforts, and ability to support producer readiness to accept SNAP and HIP benefits. Groups that were eligible included organizations that were part of the Massachusetts local food system, including production, processing and distribution, emergency food distribution networks, Buy Local, community and food organizations, school meal programming, urban farms and community gardens, non-profits, and organizations that provide business planning, technical assistance and information technology services.

The Request for Responses for applications closed on September 15, 2020 but applications that were submitted before the proposal deadline will be considered for future rounds of funding.

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