Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

Food Access, Security, and Health (FASH)

  • Goal 1: Everyone will be able to afford more healthy and local foods.
  • Goal 2: Everyone who qualifies for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive the benefits that are available to them.
  • Goal 3: More people will be able to purchase healthy foods using public food assistance incentive programs.
  • Goal 4: Healthy food education and choices for all children and adolescents will be expanded.
  • Goal 5: The roles of health care providers, institutions, and insurers in fostering access to healthy food will be expanded.
  • Goal 6: Food pantries and meals programs will increase their distribution of locally produced foods.
  • Goal 7: Healthy and locally produced food will be more accessible through better public transportation and food infrastructure.
  • Goal 8: More people will be aware of the direct effects that nutrition has on their health and will take part in effective nutrition education programs.

(Click on goals to see detailed recommendations and action items.)

For many Massachusetts residents, factors such as food prices, proximity to grocery stores, household income, transportation, and lack of knowledge about how to cook and store food can present barriers to reliably buying and consuming fresh, healthy, local food. Many health problems, as well as irregular school attendance, poor job performance, and other concerns, can be linked to poor diet and food insecurity.  While every municipality in the Commonwealth is affected to some degree by these circumstances, the burden is usually heaviest on communities with residents who are lower – income, people of color, seniors, or disabled.

The goals and recommendations of this section focus on long-term, sustainable strategies to increase access to, and consumption of, healthy, locally produced food as part of overall efforts to reduce hunger and food insecurity in Massachusetts. These goals and recommendations emphasize market-based solutions that support many of the other goals of this plan, including increasing local food production, ensuring the economic viability of local farms, and reducing food waste. Finally, this section emphasizes strategies that are geared to reduce social inequities in access to healthy food and increase the quality and number of food system jobs.

Massachusetts Food System Collaborative