Tag Archives: Baker Charlie

Food insecurity continues at West Mass News | Instant News

HATFIELD, MA (WGGB / WSHM) – Governor Charlie Baker called attention to food insecurity across the state during the COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

In western Massachusetts, demand increased dramatically during a pandemic with more and more families turning to food and kitchen banks during this uncertain period.

“This is a story that is playing in place after place in the Commonwealth,” Baker explained, Wednesday.

BOSTON (AP) – First round of grants for food production and distribution organizations that …

Today, Baker highlighted the increasing demand for food support among families across the state by announcing funding for many organizations that are trying to help.

“Three million dollars in immediate assistance to the food bank, which has played a key role in this initiative so far,” Baker added.

Food Bank of Western Mass. It is among those who see an increase in needs.

“We have seen an increase in demand that is quite extensive and it starts immediately in March when everything starts to close and really reminds quite high,” said Christina Maxwell, program director with Food Bank of Western Mass.

Maxwell told Western Mass News that the food bank initially saw a 20 percent increase in food distribution.

“… And about a third of the people we see are new to the emergency food system, so that’s much higher than in a normal month. When maybe 10 percent of the people we see are new people, now it’s 30 percent, “Maxwell said.

Maxwell said, fortunately, during this difficult time, supermarkets and local farmers had contributed to the food bank.

“We have also been assisted by federal and state programs. MEMA also provided some food boxes for us and we have enough food for the requests we are currently seeing, “Maxwell added.

However, the West Mass Food Bank said they must adapt new business models to help feed their struggling communities

“We have and our member agents own and our food pantry is distributing outdoors and where we eat offers food to go now, rather than sit-down meals,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell added that many volunteers throughout the emergency food system were elderly, so some were forced to leave, leaving the Food Bank of Western Mass. With fewer volunteers during the most demanding times.

“We have to adjust how we get things done and our staff has jumped into doing something they don’t usually need to do,” Maxwell said.

At present, with so much uncertainty surrounding the corona virus, Maxwell said they were preparing for an increase in demand in the coming months.

“If children don’t go back to school physically and if food isn’t available to them like in spring … I’m just not sure if that will be the case or not … then we expect more people in the kitchen and eating places us, “Maxwell noted.

With the CARES Act coming to an end at the end of this month, Maxwell believes this will encourage families who are struggling for emergency food programs.

If you want to help the Western Mass Food Bank, Maxwell says they are looking for volunteers. For more information, you can CLICK HERE.


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Demand for food stamps soars | State News | Instant News

BOSTON – Economic casualties from coronavirus in Massachusetts have caused a surge in demand for food stamps and other public assistance programs.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been kicked out of work because of the closure of the government which is intended to slow the spread of the virus, and it makes many families struggle to put food on the table.

Applications in Massachusetts for food assistance through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program surged to 53,622 applicants in March and 61,103 in April. That compared with 18,688 applicants in February, according to the country.

In April, at least 508,234 Massachusetts households received food stamps, according to the Transitional Assistance Department.

The country has also seen a surge in demand for the main cash assistance program, Transition Assistance for Families with Dependent Children.

In April, 79,270 people received the benefits compared to 57,862 in April 2019, according to the country.

Advocacy groups say demand for food aid has surged amid economic turmoil created by coronavirus.

“That request is extraordinary,” said Naomi Meyer, a senior lawyer at Greater Boston Legal Services, who advises low-income families. “We have seen an increase in demand not only from families who have received help, but many new people. There are many people who are struggling.”

Those who get SNAP benefits must be included in certain income guidelines. If eligible, a family of four can earn up to $ 646 per month, even though the average family only gets around $ 208 a month.

Massachusetts has become one of the hardest hit countries in the global pandemic, with 87,925 COVID-19 infections and 5,938 deaths on Tuesday.

Nearly one million workers crossing industrial plots – more than a quarter of the country’s workforce – are unemployed.

Country leaders have responded to requests for food assistance by making it easier for people to access benefits and pump more money into food programs.

Earlier this week, the Baker administration announced $ 65 million to help over-paying food banks and provide food directly to families in need.

“While COVID-19 has a statewide impact, some of our communities and residents who have historically experienced food insecurity are even more disproportionately affected,” Governor Charlie Baker told reporters at a briefing on Sunday, where he announced additional funding.

The state has also prepared more than 500 distribution sites to provide lunch boxes for students who qualify for free or subsidized food.

The federal government has also taken steps to make it easier to get food stamps by easing verification requirements for new applicants. Likewise, the US Department of Agriculture, which manages the program, has increased SNAP benefits by 40% until the end of May as part of the pandemic response.

But advocates say the pressure on food aid programs is likely to increase in the coming months, and more funding will be needed.

Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse newspaper and website for the North of Boston Media Group. Send him an email at [email protected].


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