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Southcoast Food Policy Council Working Groups


Food Access Working Group

The Southcoast Food Policy Council (SFPC) is a coalition of nearly 400 community partners representing farmers, fishermen, food pantry leaders, churches, social service agencies, schools, institutional buyers, and a diverse group of partner organizations throughout the Southcoast of Massachusetts from Plymouth to Fall River.

We envision a thriving, inclusive, and culturally diverse regional food system in which we all benefit from healthful, accessible, and affordable foods. Our mission is to connect, convene, and advocate for local food producers, consumers, and community partners who seek to generate policies and practices that strengthen our regional food system, enhance food security, and promote health equity.

Access to healthy, nutritious food is a fundamental right for everyone. In the 2021 Southcoast Food System Assessment, 80% of people reported purchasing food through grocery stores and big box stores. Affordable meat, seafood, fresh fruits, and vegetables are the hardest food items for consumers. However, a significant number of people live more than 1 mile (urban) and 20 miles (rural) from the nearest supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle or reliable transportation to get to food stores.

The SFPC Community Advisory Board (CAB), comprised of 25+ food system stakeholders, along with the Food Equity Advisors (people with lived experience of food insecurity), will ensure plans and advocacy actions taken are community-driven and outcome-based to benefit the entire region equitably and sustainably.

The overarching goal is for environmental justice and low-income communities to access local, healthy, nutritious food that is culturally-relevant.

The Food Access Working Group’s long-term goals over the next few years are to develop a regional gleaning program, increase the amount of local food in the emergency food relief system, and reduce waste.

Short-term goals include:

  • Identify best practices and develop a gleaning program in Southeastern MA, including Plymouth, Bristol, and Norfolk Counties.
  • Identify groups that would be willing to receive gleaned and rescued food.
  • Recruit and train volunteers for the gleaning program.
  • Develop a streamlined method of communication among farmers, volunteers, and food pantries to support these initiatives.
  • Identify and work with partner organizations to recover commercial excess food.
  • Establish a farm-to-food relief farm in partnership in the Plymouth/Wareham area. This farm will also be the gleaning training site.

Application to join a Working Group. You will be contacted after you send in your application to

Send us your thoughts or questions to or call 508-748-0816 x110.

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