MASSACHUSETTS FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAM
FOOD SOURCE HOTLINE - The Project Bread toll-free FoodSource Hotline refers callers to food resources in their communities and provides information on public programs, meal sites for the elderly, meals-on-wheels programs, food distribution sites, and other programs supplying free or low-cost food. the Hotline has the ability to help hungry families in 140 languages. Call the FoodSource Hotline for more information at 1-800-645-8333.
FARMERS' MARKET - The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides WIC participants and elders with coupons redeemable for fresh produce at participating Farmer's Markets throughout the growing season - usually July through October. The money from the coupon purchases goes directly to the farmers to support Massachusetts' farms and helps maintain the state's rural, open spaces. Call the Department of Food and Agriculture for more information at 617-626-1700.
WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM - The Massachusetts Woman, Infants and Children Nutrition Program provides nutrition education and counseling, free nutritious food and access to health care for low - to moderate - income families with children under five. WIC also provides immunization screening and referrals and distributes coupons for fresh produce redeemable at Farmers' Markets. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, babies and children under five are automatically income eligible for WIC if they currently receive TAFDC, Food Stamps or Medicaid. Parents - mothers and fathers, guardians or foster parents may apply for their children. Call WIC for more information at 1-800-942-1007.
NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR THE ELDERLY - The Nutrition Program for the Elderly provides elderly persons with nutritious meals at home through the meals-on-wheels program as well as at senior centers or in other congregate settings. Persons 60 years of age, as well as disabled individuals living in elderly housing facilities where congregate meals are served, and disabled individuals who reside at home and accompany elderly participants to meals are eligible. Call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for more information at 1-800-882-2003.
SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM - Current studies show the importance of a nutritious breakfast. The School Breakfast Program provides health breakfasts to children at participating schools. Any child may purchase a meal through the School Breakfast Program. If your family meets certain criteria, your child may receive free or reduced-price breakfasts. Call your child's school for more information or the Department of Education at 781-338-6498.
CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM - The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving daycare at childcare centers, family daycare sites, and adult daycare centers, as well as homeless centers. These meals play a vital role in improving the quality of daycare and making it affordable for many low-income families. Call the Department of Education for more information at 781-338-6494.
SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM - Just as learning does not end when school lets out neither does a child's need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas receive the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months. Call the Department of Education for more information at 781-338-6494.
NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM -The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced lunches and snacks to children in participating schools. Depending on your total household income, your child may be able to get meals free or at a reduced rate. If you receive TAFDC, your child is automatically eligible for free meals. Call your child's school for more information or the Department of Education at 781-338-6498.
FOOD STAMP PROGRAM - The Food Stamp Program helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. You may be able to get Food Stamps if you work for low wages, work part-time or are unemployed, receive welfare or other public assistance payments, are elderly or disabled and live on a limited income, or are homeless. The amount of assistance you can get is based on national estimates of how much it costs to buy food to prepare nutritious meals for your household. The estimate changes every year to keep up with food prices. Call or visit your Transitional Assistance Office for moor information at 1-800-249-2007 or the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.
FOOD BANKS - Massachusetts' food banks offer emergency assistance to those in need by providing food pantries and other food programs with emergency supplies. Food banks will provide you with a list of pantries and programs in your area where you can get free food on an emergency basis. Call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline for more information at 1-800-645-8333 or a food bank in your area.
Eastern MA: Greater Boston Food Bank 617-427-5200
Central MA: Worcester County Food Bank 508-842-3663
Western MA: The Food Bank of Western MA 413-247-9738