Project Bread anticipates and responds to immediate needs in our communities with emergency and short-term programs — provided with dignity and kindness. We also connect people to local food resources and enable them to participate in their local food economies and the marketplace.
Community solutions are an important resource for the nearly 726,000 people across the state who struggle with food insecurity, including our most vulnerable populations — children, working-poor families, immigrants, the disabled, and seniors.
Children make up 68% of all SNAP recipients.
As of September 2017, there were 442,934 Massachusetts households participating in SNAP.
Project Bread's Food Source Hotline received over 28,000 calls from individuals looking for assistance in 2017.
Project Bread invests in community based programs, food pantries, health centers, food rescue organizations, farm and garden initiatives, summer meal programs, elder meal programs, our FoodSource Hotline and more—all to reach the state's most vulnerable populations: children, working poor families, immigrants, and seniors—and to bolster our local food economies.
Since 2016, Project Bread has been a core partner in launching the new SNAP Healthy Incentives Program in Massachusetts.
In 2017, Project Bread has partnered with the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Department of Public Health, to launch the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). Funding for this program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program.
What is the Healthy Incentives Program?
Spend your SNAP dollars on farm-fresh fruits and vegetables at participating HIP retailers and have the amount of your purchase instantly added back to your EBT card!
HIP is an incentive program designed to improve affordability and access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP participants. The program provides low-income families and individuals with the opportunity to benefit from farmers’ markets and other agricultural points of access, by increasing the amount of SNAP benefits available for clients to spend at these locations. By encouraging the purchase and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables, this sustainable, statewide, incentive program, promotes healthy eating, while also supporting the local economy.
What is Project Bread's role in HIP?
- Educating community partners across the state about HIP.
- Financial support to make the Healthy Incentive match available, made possible by funds raised through the Walk for Hunger.
- Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333) is the statewide information line for SNAP users to learn about HIP and how to access their benefits
- Increase the availability and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients.
- Reduce barriers to participation for SNAP clients and retailers.
- Assess the impact of the new incentive program on participants’ purchase of fruits and vegetables to inform future expansion.
How the Incentive Works
HIP builds on the success of the Pilot, providing a 100% incentive benefit for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture programs statewide. The incentive is added directly to the SNAP recipients’ EBT card and can be spent on any future SNAP eligible purchase. Information regarding the account balance can be found on the accompanying receipt, enabling consumers to easily track their HIP benefit. The maximum monthly incentive awarded is based on household size, i.e. 1-2 member households will be capped at $40, 3-5 member households at $60, and households with 6 or more members at $80.
Find a HIP Location Near You
Visit www.mass.gov/hip for a directory, or call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333, or look for the HIP logo.
Project Bread's Chef Vanessa teaches two, FREE healthy cooking classes in THE KITCHEN at Boston Public Market every Thursday.
Fresh—For Less: Weekly Free Community Healthy Cooking Demonstrations
Join Project Bread Chef Vanessa LaBranche every Thursday in The Kitchen at the Boston Public Market at 11:45am or 1pm for a weekly 45 minute cooking demonstration of a healthy, quick dish to make at home that won't break your food budget!
Attendees will learn how to prepare easy, tasty recipes that do not require much time, skill, or money to prepare and have an opportunity to sample the recipe and take it home at the end of class. Sponsored by Capital One, this class is FREE and each attendee will also go home with a complimentary grocery tote.
100 Hanover Street at Haymarket Station
class repeats at
WIC is a nutrition program that provides free healthy food, breastfeeding support, and other services to families who qualify.
What is the WIC Program?
WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, health food, and other services free of charge to Massachusetts families who qualify. The goal of the program is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and kids under the age of five healthy. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children.
What does WIC provide?
- Personalized nutrition consulations
- Free, healthy food
- Tips for eating well to improve health
- Referrals for medical and dental care, health insurance, child care, housing and fuel assistance, and other services that can benefit the whole family
WIC also has an electronic benefit card and a 'WIC Shopper' App to make shopping more convenient and faster than ever before!
To learn more about WIC, call 1-800-WIC-1007 or visit www.mass.gov/wic
Project Bread is working in partnership with the MA Department of Public Health to promote and increase participation in the WIC program.
Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline counselors answer more than 28,000 calls a year from hungry people in Massachusetts.
Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline connects food insecure people with public resources and local help, in order to help them find the right solutions for their needs. The Hotline answered over 28,000 callers from across Massachusetts in 2017, and is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in Massachusetts for people facing hunger.
Counselors assist callers in over 180 languages, providing a multitude of available resources in their community, including food pantries, congregate meal sites, school meals, and summer meal sites for kids, elder meal programs, and WIC. When relevant, FoodSource Hotline counselors also connect callers with other resources such as utility and fuel assistance, and MassHealth. Most importantly, our counselors can start SNAP applications for eligible residents right over the phone. Click here to get help.
SNAP (formerly "food stamps") is the cornerstone of the nation’s nutrition safety net.
Project Bread is dedicated to removing barriers and increasing access to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps). The program helps low-income workers stretch their food budget, buy healthy food, stay independent, and maintain their dignity. Through our FoodSource Hotline, Project Bread provides over 28,000 callers a year with information about SNAP and helps them with the application process. GettingSNAP.org—a bilingual resource created by Project Bread—helps 540,000 unique visitors annually determine their eligibility. And SNAP is good for local economies: every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.70 of economic activity.
Project Bread partners with health centers around the state as a means of protecting children from hunger and its effects.
Families feel safe and respected when they ask for help at a health center. They can discuss their struggles to make ends meet and their deep concerns about being able to feed their children well and keep them healthy. Project Bread supports clinicians in 28 health centers statewide to identify people in need, raise awareness about the FoodSource Hotline, provide food vouchers, and connect people to Project Bread’s two full-time SNAP outreach coordinators for application assistance. An astounding 11% of families in Massachusetts’ health centers screened positive for severe food insecurity.
In 2017, our partnered healthcare professionals prescribed 1,920 emergency food vouchers to patients that screened as food-insecure and referred them to Project Bread to enroll in SNAP. Through these referrals, we leveraged $1.4 million in SNAP benefits for their patients.
For information on how hospitals can help those in need, download the "Hunger in the Community: Ways Hospitals Can Help" hospital handbook.
We bring local produce into the homes of low-income families with subsidized community supported agriculture.
This innovative program enables people struggling with food insecurity to access healthy food through typical channels, such as through farmers' markets, community gardens, health centers, food co-ops, local stores, etc.—supporting both households and local food economies. In 2017, Project Bread subsidized CSA shares for about 1,100 families in East Boston, Malden, New Bedford, and Ware. This program continues to grow, and serves to increase food security in low-income communities while simultaneously strengthening the local food economy in MA.
We believe that everyone should have sustainable, reliable access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food. Working together, we actively promote and connect the most vulnerable populations in our state with established and effective anti-hunger programs in our communities.
Looking for a summer meals site close to you? Download our SummerEats app for free!
Organic produce is expensive. Local organic produce? Even pricier.
For those living on a fixed income, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and the like are simply out of the question. A tomato sold at a farmers market, for example, carries a much higher price tag than that of its grocery store equivalent, putting it “back on the shelf” for many lower-income shoppers.
Join us in our fresh approach as we work to break the cycle of hunger. We’re changing lives, with your support.