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New Health, a local health center affiliated with Mass General Hospital and Boston Medical Center, is taking a holistic approach to food insecurity by providing fresh fruits and vegetables directly to patients in need. This initiative was started when the growing need for food assistance became more apparent to the center. Once a month, New Health purchases bags of fresh produce to distribute to patients who have been notified in advance. The produce includes a variety of fruits such as bananas, apples, and oranges, as well as superfoods like avocados. The leftover produce goes into the community refrigerator so that anyone in need can have it.

Patients have expressed gratitude for this resource, with one patient stating that it helps 10 to 15 people every time they receive a bag of produce. Carmen Tirado, a patient at New Health, shared her appreciation for the program saying “A lot of people in our community do need all of this help. It’s really great to have this to help those with the need.” Dan Coakley, public affairs coordinator for New Health, stated that “This specific initiative started when the growing need of food insecurity became more evident to us. So we really wanted to come up with an alternative to give food directly to patients.”

Overall, New Health’s approach to food security is providing much-needed resources and support to those within the community. By directly providing fresh produce and utilizing leftovers for those in need, New Health is making a significant impact on addressing food security issues.

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