MILL CITY GROWS TO BENEFIT FROM PROJECT BREAD’S “MOVING THE NEEDLE” COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
The two-year grant program is designed to support local community projects in Malden, New Bedford, Lynn, Lowell, Holyoke, and Worcester
[LOWELL, MA] – Mill City Grows has been awarded the first of two annual installments of $30,000 to support its commitment to eradicating hunger in Massachusetts. The “Moving the Needle” community investment program launched by Project Bread is designed for organizations addressing food insecurity with sustainable and systemic change. This initiative focuses on three key priority areas: Policy and Advocacy, Innovation, and Education to Expand the Reach of Federal Nutrition Programs.
Mill City Grows (MCG) is a food justice and urban agriculture organization based in Lowell, MA. MCG serves the Lowell community through urban farms, community and school gardens, mobile markets and a CSA program, and community education and advocacy. The Moving the Needle grant will provide funding for the burgeoning Community Food Partnership of Lowell (CFP), a local food policy council. It will support the group in increasing membership and visibility; hosting community forums for food advocacy; establishing a community kitchen; and breaking down barriers to accessing food benefits by doubling the number of registered SNAP Outreach Partners in Lowell.
“This funding will support the long-term sustainability of the Community Food Partnership. This group, led by diverse community members, is ensuring that Lowell residents are an integral part of fighting hunger and creating community-based solutions in our food system,” said Enrique Vargas, Associate Director of Mill City Grows.
Project Bread is the leading statewide food security organization in Massachusetts. The nonprofit engages residents, elected officials, and businesses to act against food insecurity so everyone in the Commonwealth has reliable access to food. The “Moving the Needle ” community investment strives to leverage people’s voices and experiences, local political will and efforts to fight food insecurity in their communities, like Mill City Grows. This is the second round of multi-year grants that Project Bread has distributed since 2021. Project Bread has also allocated the “Pathways to Change” community investment program this fall, awarding an additional $29,700 to 5 organizations in Fall River, Lawrence, and Chelsea to develop spaces for community conversations and engagement around food access.
“Investing in local communities is an essential way to make a lasting impact.” says Adriana Mendes-Sheldon, Director of Community Partnerships at Project Bread. “We believe in the power of community-led solutions. Our local partners and stakeholders are experts in addressing challenges and meeting their community’s unique needs. I’m excited to witness the innovative and transformative projects that arise from this opportunity and to see the progress it creates in the fight against food insecurity.”
The “Moving the Needle” competitive community investment grant program received multiple applications from the communities of Malden, New Bedford, Lynn, Lowell, Holyoke and Worcester. Project Bread has issued the Moving the Needle awards to four nonprofits. All organizations will join Project Bread’s Community of Practice, where organizations and community leaders gather to share expertise and knowledge to support and amplify each other’s strengths, knowledge and resources.
People experiencing food insecurity should call into Project Bread’s toll-free FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333), which provides confidential assistance to connect with food resources, including SNAP benefits, in 180 languages and for the hearing impaired. For more information, visit: www.projectbread.org/get-help.
About Mill City Grows
Mill City Grows fosters food justice by improving positive health outcomes, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell, MA, through increased access to land, locally grown food, and education. We envision that Lowell will be known for its innovative approach to food production and food justice where residents are engaged actors in creating a food secure community that promotes the ability to grow, consume, and distribute healthy, locally produced food on land that is seen as a vital resource for the community and is protected for food production. For more information, visit www.millcitygrows.org.
About Project Bread
Project Bread, the leading statewide food security nonprofit, connects people and communities in Massachusetts to reliable sources of food, while advocating for policies that make food more accessible—so that no one goes hungry. For more information, visit: www.projectbread.org.