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Southcoast Food Policy Council Resources

Southcoast Food Policy Council FAQ’s

Here is everything you need to know about The Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council. What is it? Why is it important? Learn all about what goes into creating a community based food impact resource and how you can get involved.

Click here to download

Join Southcoast Food Policy Council

To stay informed of regional food system issues, activities, and meetings, Click here.

Interested in Joining SFPC CAB and/or an SFPC Working Group

Join us in devising practical solutions to barriers in our local food system. Applications are closed but there is a waiting list. CAB members onboard in January each year and Working Group members onboard in March each year.

CAB and Working Group Link to Thinkific Folders

CAB and Working Groups Thinkific Portal


JANUARY 30, 2024

On January 30, 2024, 130+ participants gathered at the Fort Tabor Community Center in New Bedford for a Legislative Breakfast hosted by The Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Policy Council, The Greater New Bedford Youth Alliance, and the Women’s Alliance of Southeastern MA.

Congressman Jim McGovern and Congressman Bill Keating participated virtually from Washington, DC, to talk about the Farm Bill, national food insecurity issues, economic justice, and women’s empowerment.

Dr. Melanie Edwards-Tavares, President and CEO of Southcoast Community Foundation, shared the importance and impact of intermediaries, such as these Alliances and the Southcoast Food Policy Council.

Representatives Chris Hendricks, Christopher Markey, Antonio Cabral, and staff from the offices of Senator Mark Montigny and Marc Pacheco, and staff from the offices of Representatives Carol Fiola and Bill Straus, and staff from the office of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell were present.

The Host organizations shared their legislative priorities, which you can read more about here:

Legislative Breakfast Resources


OCTOBER 25, 6:30 pm – 8 pm
Keynote PowerPoint, Panelists Powerpoint, Resources from Speakers


OCTOBER 25, 6:30 pm – 8 pm


2022 Virtual Food Summit – September 21, 6:30 pm – 8 pm
Intersection of Food and Basic Needs: Transportation, Housing, Healthcare.


2021 Virtual Food Summit! For those that were not able to join, here are links to the notes and audio.

Southcoast FoodAlert

The Marion Institute’s Southcoast Food Alert (SCFA) is a listserv for local food providers and stakeholders in the community to communicate emergency food relief information amongst each other. SCFA provides a dedicated space for members to share, collaborate and organize the distribution of food resources, including but not limited to, food surpluses, food storage, food delivery and retrieval.

To request access to the group, please send an email to

Click here for posting guidelines.

Need Help Finding Food?

If you are looking for where to find food, housing, healthcare and more, you can get help here: and here:

Legislative Advocacy Training

Learn how to advocate for a healthy, inclusive local food system. Rebecca Miller from the MA Food System Collaborative provided an excellent overview on:

  • how a bill is passed
  • the state budget process
  • opportune times to get involved
  • how to develop a relationship and make an ‘ask’ with your legislator
  • the difference between lobbying and advocacy
  • how to get buy-in from your organization or community
  • and much more.

Check out a video of the presentation below:


or access the notes, and the powerpoint presentation if you prefer.

Food Equity Training

To create a food policy council rooted in equity and inclusion, we partnered with the YWCA of Southeastern MA to develop a Food Equity Training that will guide our CAB and SFPC members at large. The Food Equity Training will be required for all new CAB and SFPC members who engage with us in this work. View the video below.

Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)

Launched in April 2017, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) provides 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 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs statewide. By increasing access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients, the program seeks to benefit family and community health, and support farms and the local economy. The Collaborative is working on outreach, education, and fundraising for HIP, and successfully led a campaign to include $1.35 million in funding for the program in the FY18 budget.

Information on the Healthy Incentives Program:

Volunteer Southcoast

Volunteer SouthCoast is a FREE online tool that connects people interested in volunteering with volunteer opportunities in the area. Search by your interests, availability or zip code to find the right opportunity for you! Whether you are looking to give back or need to fulfill service hours, this tool is for you!

Volunteer SouthCoast is an initiative provided by United Way of Greater New Bedford and United Way of Greater Plymouth County.

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