As part of its ongoing efforts to support a resilient, secure local food supply chain in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration announced on Wednesday $5.9 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pittsfield Public Schools are among the nearly 50 award recipients.

According to a media release from the Office of Governor Charlie Baker, the funding is being awarded as part of the fourth round of the new $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program, created following recommendations from the Administration’s COVID-19 Command Center’s Food Security Task Force, which promotes ongoing efforts to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to healthy, local food.

As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to build on our efforts to secure a resilient, diverse local food supply chain so Massachusetts residents maintain access to fresh, healthy food… With this fourth round of grants, we will have awarded a total of $17.7 million, making critical investments in our local food infrastructure and ensuring a secure supply of food as residents across the Commonwealth adjust to the impacts of this unprecedented public health challenge. ~ Governor Charlie Baker

The goal of the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program is to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have equitable access to food, especially local food. The program also seeks to ensure that farmers, fishermen and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.

The fourth round of the grant program includes 47 awards for a total of $5,895,554 to fund critical investments in technology, equipment, capacity, and other assistance to help local food producers, especially in the distribution of food insecure communities. In the program’s first three rounds, the Administration awarded over $11.7 to more than 90 recipients.

Pittsfield Public Schools has been awarded $106,583 which will be used to buy a refrigerated delivery truck to facilitate safe deliveries of USDA foods and DoD produce as well as local food purchased. The vehicle will be used during the school year and summer to safely distribute food to all 12 school kitchens as well as pick up USDA Food monthly offer.

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