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Eating well is one of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves and our families. For many families in the Commonwealth coping with the loss of income due to the pandemic food insecurity has become a real threat. According to Project Bread 38% of Massachusetts residents are struggling to keep food on the table. That represents more than a 400% increase over pre-pandemic levels.

In response to increased demands for food assistance, the Baker Administration announced the formation of the Food Security Task Force in April. Convened by the COVID-19 Command Center, the Task Force is comprised of a broad group of representatives from both public and private organizations.  They are charged with combatting urgent food insecurity and ensuring nutritional needs are met during the pandemic. Last month, in support of the Task Force’s recommendations, the Administration allocated $56 million to addressing food needs within Massachusetts.

Project Bread, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the Western MA Food Bank are also working with hunger-relief agencies, food pantries, and community meal programs to assist consumers throughout the state. In especially hard-hit communities, local municipalities and business leaders are finding innovative ways, like pop-up food pantries, grab and go, and limited delivery services to get food to the people who need it. Check with your local town or city government to learn the best way to obtain food support in your community. In addition, every town is offering meals to school-aged children who are home during the emergency. If you are looking for a list of school closure meal programs for your children, please click here. Another resource is FoodPantries.org.

No one should go hungry, including our pets. MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center has compiled an extensive list of Massachusetts pantries with access to pet food to help pet owners during these difficult times. MSPCA Angell will update this list as new information becomes available. If you are unable to access food from their list of pantries, please contact outreach@mspca.org. Make sure your email includes the town you live in. The MSPCA may be able to set up no-contact home delivery of pet food to you during this crisis. Other resources available to you include the Berkshire Humane Society Pet Food Bank  and HelpFeedPets.org.

Additional resources:

NOTE: Amazon and Walmart have met U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines and are now accepting SNAP and EBT for online food orders in Massachusetts. However, this benefit cannot be used to pay for food delivery fees.

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