The PlanSector

Food Access, Security and Health

Goal 1

Everyone will be able to afford more healthy and local foods.

Image courtesy of U.S. Navy, Steve Johnson, Wikipedia

The lack of purchasing power among low-income families and individuals is a fundamental barrier to increasing the consumption of healthy foods, including those that are produced locally. Improving consumer purchasing power is also critical to reducing food insecurity in Massachusetts, which stands at 11.9 percent for all residents and 16.6 percent among children.1

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Recommendations

  1. 1.1 Increase household buying power by helping families and individuals keep more of what they already earn.
    1. Actions:
    2. 1.1.1 Maintain the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and review its expansion, as well as the enactment of similar tax credits and household supportive subsidies (i.e. assistance for child care from the Department of Early Education and Care) that will increase the proportions of household incomes that are available for groceries and other necessities.
  2. 1.2 Help low-wage workers earn more take-home pay.
    1. Actions:
    2. 1.2.1 Support the adoption of a living wage standard for Massachusetts workers, with exceptions for time-limited youth training on production farms and associated retail operations.
    3. 1.2.2 Support and expand workforce education, training, and certification opportunities for food system workers. Begin by examining the opportunities to expand education, training and certifications for jobs within the food system, as well as those in closely related fields, including healthcare.
    4. 1.2.3 Expand the number of organizations and community partners involved in job training.