The Regional Environmental Council (REC) has received the first installment of a $30,000 grant from Project Bread’s “Moving the Needle” community investment program. This funding supports REC’s efforts to address hunger in Massachusetts through sustainable and systemic changes. Project Bread, a leading organization in the state’s fight against food insecurity, focuses on policy advocacy, innovative solutions, and expanding the reach of federal nutrition programs.
REC fights against hunger by enhancing community food security through initiatives like school and community gardens, youth farming, and operating mobile and community farmers’ markets. With this grant, REC will promote the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which assists SNAP clients in buying more fruits and vegetables by providing rebates for local produce purchases at farmers’ markets, farm stands, and CSAs. REC’s Mobile Farmers Market, which run for 40 weeks a year across various locations, accept all forms of payment, including SNAP/HIP.
Project Bread engages various stakeholders in addressing food security issues. The “Moving the Needle” program, now in its second round of multi-year grants since 2021, forms part of Project Bread’s strategy to foster community-led solutions to hunger. This fall, Project Bread also launched the “Pathways to Change” program, distributing an additional $29,700 to five organizations in Fall River, Lawrence, and Chelsea.
The “Moving the Needle” program attracted applications from multiple communities with four nonprofits selected for awards. These organizations will join Project Bread’s Community of Practice, a platform for sharing expertise and resources.
Individuals facing food insecurity can contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333. The hotline offers confidential assistance in 180 languages and for the hearing impaired, providing connections to food resources, including SNAP benefits. More information is available on the Project Bread website.