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.
“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. “The Lynn Delegation has been 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.”
“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.”
“I would like to commend the Lynn YMCA and staff for their commitment to the people of the greater Lynn area,” said Representative Dan Cahill. “Their efforts of helping those who need it the most in this difficult time will keep children and seniors from going hungry.”
“This grant will go a long way in helping address food insecurity among our communities’ most vulnerable,” said Representative Pete Capano.
“Too many people in Massachusetts are struggling to make ends meet, and the pandemic has made those challenges much worse. I’m grateful to see the Lynn YMCA receive these critical funds to fight hunger locally as we continue to fight the pandemic into the winter. Too many children and families are going hungry, and that is unacceptable in a state like ours. These funds will go a long way to help people in Greater Lynn feed themselves and their families,” said Representative Lori Ehrlich.
“This grant of $130,000 couldn’t have gone to a better organized then the Lynn YMCA,” said Representative Wong. “The grant will help the Lynn YMCA to distribute more food to more people in our community. With COVID-19 and the winter coming, our community welcomes this grant. This is just one example of the State working hand in hand with local communities.”
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.