Food Assistance and matching funds

The Belmont Food Collaborative’s mission includes providing access to fresh, local food. We run the Belmont Farmers’ Market, match government benefits for shoppers, support the Belmont Food Pantry, and have many other ways of achieving this goal.

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SNAP matching
2011:    $956
2012: $1,388
2013: $1,898
2014: $2,725
2015: $1,808
2016: $1,887
2017: $8,324
2018: $6,613

Matching SNAP dollars  The Collaborative matches shopper SNAP dollars at the Belmont Farmers’ Market, up to $20 each Market day per shopper. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp program). The table shows the total amount that shoppers spent (their amount plus our match).

Shoppers have told us how important that extra money is. Each week, it lets them put fresh, local produce on their tables.

WIC and Senior FMNP coupons  Take your WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Senior FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutritional Program) coupons to our vendors for any appropriate products. They will match the amount on the coupon, letting you spend twice the face value. We reimburse them for the match as part of our food assistance program. Ask vendors or our Market Manager for details. In 2016, we matched $825 of shopper dollars, $2023 in 2017, and $1905 in 2018.

Community growing  We have grown vegetables for the Belmont Food Pantry in past summers. The project started in someone’s front yard (2012), added raised beds at Belmont’s Beth El Temple Center (2013), beds at Belmont High School (2014), and beds at Rock Meadow (2015).  In 2016, we donated 235 pounds of produce to the Pantry from the Temple and Rock Meadow gardens, and 212 pounds in 2017.

Students at BHS growing produce for the Belmont Food Pantry

Students at BHS growing produce for the Belmont Food Pantry

Pounds delivered
2012: 2,929
2013: 3,840
2014: 6,749
2015: 8,478
2016: 8,940
Donations to BAG
2012:   $100
2013:   $450
2014: $1,500
2015: $1,500
2016: $1,000

Boston Area Gleaners   Volunteers glean fields after farmers finish their harvesting, which saves good produce from being plowed under. We defray the cost of deliveries by Boston Area Gleaners (BAG) with donations of $5 per 30 lb. box of produce delivered; that added up to $1,413 in 2015. They also collect unharvested food from local farms and work with other farmers’ markets, shelters, farms and other organizations in Eastern Massachusetts.

Gleaning kale in Lincoln

Gleaning kale in Lincoln (including one of our BFC Directors)

Food For Free
2010:  9,401 lbs
2011:  5,868 lbs
2012:   6,805 lbs
2013:   5,810 lbs
2014: 10,100 lbs
2015: 15,810 lbs
2016:   7,615 lbs
2017: 7,200 lbs
2018: 7,600 lbs

Food For Free At the end of each Market day, vendors can donate unsold produce and baked goods to Food for Free. Our financial support facilitates the transportation and donation of this food.

Their volunteers collect the food and take it to local food pantries, meal programs and shelters in the greater Boston area. The numbers went down in 2016, probably due to the drought and the lack of stone fruit (peaches, plums, etc) because of weird weather in the winter.

Food For Free loading up the truck

A Food For Free volunteer loading vendor donations into the truck

Belmont Food Pantry donations  Shoppers bring non-perishable items to the Belmont Farmers’ Market. We also buy eggs to donate to the Food Pantry, and in 2016 we donated 120 half-dozen cartons of eggs.

Financial donations  BFC makes occasional donations to the Pantry to help them in their work to get food to people who need it.

We’re pleased to help people in Belmont and the greater Boston community. This food assistance is an important part of the overall mission of the Collaborative. Can you help? Your donations help us with programs like these.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.