REGION 1 – FEMA and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency recently announced two federal grants for feeding Bostonians who experienced food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, the two grants provided over $3.7 million reimbursing the Boston Housing Authority and the City of Boston for their emergency feeding programs. Both grants covered 100% of the eligible costs submitted to FEMA. The Boston Housing Authority is a public agency of the City of Boston.
A $1,773,736 grant was awarded to the Boston Housing Authority to help feed many vulnerable residents from Sept. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021. The program provided prepared meals to qualified individuals and families, including seniors, low-income families and those social distancing and quarantining.
Boston Housing Authority officials envisioned this program, enrolled participants and oversaw the program. It was created for residents at more than 30 properties who were not being serviced by other meal programs. In partnership with City Fresh Foods, YMCA of Greater Boston, Commonwealth Kitchen and Haley House, prepared meals were distributed to participating families at designated sites. In this part of the program, about 10,000 meals were prepared and delivered per week at full capacity.
A $1,956,060 grant was awarded to the City for groceries bought and distributed to help feed thousands in need from Sept. 14 through Dec. 31, 2020. The program provided nutritious food every week to approved individuals and families in underserved populations. About 3,000 households per week were served.
The city’s Age Strong Commission staff managed this program’s enrollment of individuals and families, maintained a database of all who received deliveries and detailed any follow-up required. Commission staff coordinated daily with partner About Fresh to purchase, package and deliver groceries.
Both projects were funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which reimburses eligible applicants for actions taken in the immediate response to and during recovery from a major disaster. Eligible applicants include commonwealths, states, federally recognized Tribal governments, local governments and certain private non-profit organizations.
These Public Assistance Program project applications were submitted by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. FEMA awarded funding for these projects directly to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which worked directly with the applicants to ensure all terms and conditions of the awards were met before funds were disbursed.
“We are pleased to provide funds to help accomplish the mission of feeding Bostonians who were struggling during coronavirus pandemic,” said Acting Region 1 Administrator and Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ford, who oversees FEMA’s operations throughout New England. “We will continue to work closely with the City of Boston, the Boston Housing Authority, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as our shared efforts to respond to the pandemic continues.”
As of June 14, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program obligated more than $736.1 million in 293 projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. Additional information about the program is at https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters