Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

April 12, 2024

Contact your Representatives: Support food system amendments in House budget!

Almost 1,500 amendments have been filed to the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means draft budget (H4600). Representatives now have a week to review and consider these amendments before debating and voting on a final budget starting April 24.

Representatives may choose to cosponsor as many amendments as they wish, to show support for efforts that serve their communities. They need to hear from you about the items that are most important to you and your neighbors, so please take this opportunity to review the amendments in this article as well as others, and contact your Representatives to let them know your priorities.

Join the Collaborative at 10 am on April 17 to call the House together in support of these amendments! Register for the zoom link here. If you can’t make Wednesday’s meeting, you can use this template to reach out to your representative and ask them to cosponsor these amendments. 

Dozens of these amendments relate to Massachusetts’ food system, proposing investments in local programs and projects, as well as in statewide efforts. The Collaborative has prioritized five amendments:

#62. Healthy Incentives Program Funding, $25,000,000, Rep. Kane. This funding will ensure that this successful program will continue to grow, supporting healthy families and sustainable farms.

#454. UMass Extension Funding, $770,000, Rep. Schmid. This funding will allow Extension to invest in critical upgrades to their farms and better serve Massachusetts agriculture.

#458. Healthy Incentives Program Bill, no cost, Rep. Domb. This outside section is the same as the language in the HIP bill, which will enact the program into law permanently, and re-create a trust for program funds.

#1085. Local Food Policy Council Grant Program, $250,000, Rep. Sabadosa. This amendment will fund a third round of this over-subscribed grant program, which helps local stakeholders increase food security in their communities.

#1129. Food Literacy, $1,000,000, Rep. Vargas. This funding will support DESE in expanding opportunities for students to learn about nutrition, culinary skills, and other food system issues, and support another round of FRESH grants.

Totaling less than .XX% of the proposed budget, these five amendments would represent a tremendous boost to our food security, our local economy, our climate resilience, and the growth of a sustainable, equitable food system. Again you can use this template to reach out to your representative and ask them to cosponsor these amendments.

Below is a table of food system budget items under discussion in the House. We urge stakeholders to contact legislators in support of these items, as well as any amendments supporting local earmarks in your communities.

For more information about how to support these asks, see these organizations:


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Massachusetts Food System Collaborative