The First Awardees of the Mass. Food Trust Program’s Second Year

The Massachusetts Food Trust Program (MFTP) has awarded grants to two projects in Eastern MA, supporting access to healthy food in Lowell and Lynn. 

Mill City Grows, a Lowell-based nonprofit that “increases community access to healthy, fresh food through the development of urban food production and distribution networks” received a $15,000 grant to support the construction of a commercial prep and processing kitchen where they will prepare produce and value-added products for sale at MCG’s Mobile Market. 

The expanded processing capability will allow Mill City Grows to provide nutritious, locally produced food to 11 Mobile Market locations in the community of Lowell. The sites, which were chosen based on convenience for the target food-insecure and low-income population, include low-income housing, health care centers, parks, and other similar high-use areas. Mill City Grows serves about 15,000 people annually, including 5,000 customers at their Mobile Markets.

Ernie’s Harvest Time, a small grocery and deli in Lynn, also received funding from the MA Food Trust Program this January. The store will use its $10,000 award to develop and execute a marketing strategy for its new, culturally relevant produce program created in partnership with The Food Project, a former recipient of MFTP funding.