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MA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Regional Meetings in September: Updated Flier for Oct 30th Food for Good/Sustainable Solutions to Hunger Conference in Amherst

Below is a detailed email from Frank Nocito Martinez regarding the MA FINI grants under the Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) for Boston, North East. South Shore, Central and Western MA. Please contact Frank if you have questions. This is an exciting opportunity to increase SNAP participation in farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and CSAs by making fresh fruits and veggies affordable!.
 
Additionally, attached is a slightly revised flier from our Western Mass colleagues confirming the upcoming statewide conference: Food for Good:Cultivating Sustainable Solutions to Hunger in Massachusetts Please circulate this version in your emails. We will share with you registration information as soon as we get it! 
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: MartinezNocito, Frank (DTA) <Frank.MartinezNocito@massmail.state.ma.us>
Date: Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 7:58 PM
Subject: FINI-HIP Stakeholder & Funder Meetings
To: "Frank.MartinezNocito@state.ma.us" <frank.martineznocito@massmail.state.ma.us>

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) a $3.4 million grant through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. DTA is honored to have received this grant, and is proud of the acknowledgment that Massachusetts is seen as a national leader in the work on healthy incentives and nutritious food choices.

Through an interdepartmental effort with the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) , DTA has garnered the support of a broad, diverse coalition of statewide community partners. Under FINI, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) will provide a 100 percent incentive- a dollar-for-dollar match -for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and CSAs statewide. The goals of this public-private partnership are to create a sustainable and unprecedented statewide incentive program, as well as to assess the impact of this new project on SNAP clients' purchase of fruits and vegetables. The HIP project seeks to promote healthy food access for SNAP clients by reducing access barriers, and increasing the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients. The project grant cycle operates from April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2020. The new HIP benefit will be available to SNAP client beginning in April 2017, for three years. 

In an effort to provide a full update to our FINI stakeholders, DTA will convene five regional Community Stakeholder Meetings across the state. The meetings will include details on the project design, the implementation timeframe, status on the planning and systems development phases, and the roles of individual stakeholders. Please see below list of locations, dates and times. We will also provide a conference line/webinar feature to enable folks to participate remotely.

Each of the Community Stakeholder Meetings will be followed by a separate session for Funders to discuss the FINI Trust, a public-private partnership which will enable DTA to engage statewide community partners and private funders to accept financial commitments to support the HIP implementation and increase the state matching funds on the federal award. Funders are encouraged to attend both sessions for a complete understanding of the project design. Please RSVP by clicking on the Doodle link below and entering your name. Details for the meeting, including an agenda are forthcoming. If you are unable to attend one of these meetings, we will send the meeting slide deck and next steps following the meetings.

FINI Community Stakeholder & Funder Meetings

Monday, September 21st: Boston, The Boston Foundation 10:00 -“ 12:30 (FINI Stakeholders: 10:00 â€- 11:30; Funders 11:30 -€“ 12:30)  (Directions)

Thursday, September 24th: Worcester, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission ”2:30 -€“ 5:00 (FINI Stakeholders: 2:30 - 4:00; Funders 4:00 - 5:00) (Directions)

Friday, September 25th: Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College†2:30 â€- 5:00 (FINI Stakeholders: 2:30 - 4:00; Funders 4:00 - 5:00) (Directions)

Monday, September 28th: Cape Cod, Barnstable County Complex—11:00 – 1:30 (FINI Stakeholders: 11:00 - 12:30; Funders 12:30 - 1:30) (Directions)

Tuesday, September 29th: Holyoke, Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 10:00 -€“ 12:30 (FINI Stakeholders: 10:00 - 11:30; Funders 11:30 -€“ 12:30) (Directions)

We welcome your participation and look forward to discussing the FINI grant award and HIP project. 

Please forward on to others in your networks. Let me know if you have any questions. 

With best regards,

Frank

Frank Martinez Nocito

Assistant Director, SNAP Nutrition Education

MA Department of Transitional Assistance

310 State Street, Springfield, MA 01105

 
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