State Awards Haverhill Boys and Girls Club Grant for Meals, Chris’ Farm Stand SNAP Designation

Chris’ Farm Stand, 436 Salem St., Haverhill. (File photograph.)

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill is receiving more than $9,000 from a state Food Security Grant to support its “grab-n-go” dinner program, while Chris’ Farm Stand of Bradford was named as a Healthy Incentives Program vendor during announcements made by Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday.

Baker distributed nearly $3 million in grants to address hunger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Money comes as part of the first 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.

“During this pandemic, Massachusetts’ food supply chain has faced significant challenges and there is an urgent need for food security to support our most vulnerable residents,” said Baker. “This new funding is a $3 million investment in the infrastructure we need to continue to respond to the impacts of the pandemic, while creating a system that provides more equitable access to nutritious, local food in the Commonwealth.”

Yesterday’s grants are geared to pay for investments in technology, equipment, increased capacity and other assistance to help producers distribute food, especially to food insecure communities.

The Food Insecurity Infrastructure Grant Program was announced in May as part of a $56 million program. The administration also announced $12 million for the provision of 25,000 family food boxes per week through a regional food supply system, and $3 million in funding as an immediate relief valve to food banks.

Meanwhile, Chris’ Farm Stand, 436 Salem St., was named as a Healthy Incentives Program provider. The designation allows SNAP households to receive matching benefits when purchasing locally grown produce.

Baker’s office said the majority of the newly selected vendors are local, small-scale farmers who live in or have close ties to the communities and populations they intend to serve. Sixty-six percent of the selected vendors will serve families in a Gateway City, such as Haverhill.

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