We have an exciting update on the Massachusetts Food Trust Program! Governor Baker released his FY19 Capital Investment Plan with $1 million included for the program. This means the program will launch with a total of $2 million in capital dollars!
These dollars will be used to provide loans and grants to new and expanded healthy food retailers and local food enterprises throughout the state. Additionally, the supplemental budget was passed, which included $2.15 million for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)! These funds will support HIP through the end of FY18 on June 30th. Thanks to these supplemental dollars, the HIP program is back up and running!
Given that both the final house and senate budgets included $100,000 for the Massachusetts Food Trust and $4M for HIP, it is likely funding for both programs will be included in the final FY19 operating budget. The Conference Committee will meet in June to hammer out the differences between the house and senate budgets and will prepare a final version for the Governor to be signed by July 1, 2018.
Congratulations to the Massachusetts Public Health Association and other advocates, including business and organizational leaders from all regions of the state, who have worked to bring healthy, affordable foods to Massachusetts!