At the April 2016 launch of GBFB’s first free produce Mobile Market, 300 food-insecure patients of the Charles River Community Health Center participated.
Less than three years later, the program has grown to nine locations at health centers and community colleges throughout GBFB’s service area. It now serves an average of 7,000 food-insecure individuals every month.
“We are committed to distributing more and more healthy food both through our network of member food pantries and through our GBFB programs that provide food directly to those in need, particularly through our produce Mobile Markets,” said Jonathan Tetrault, GBFB senior director of distribution services.
Medical research shows that adults struggling with food insecurity are more likely to report poor physical and mental health. They have higher risks for chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and depression. About 70% of those GBFB serves rely on the hunger-relief system on a regular basis. Therefore, the food GBFB provides can have a lasting impact on their long-term health.
“A lot of our patients suffer from high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and a lot of that, among other things, is due to poor nutrition,” said Francisca Guevara, director of the free produce Mobile Market at Charles River in Brighton. “To help our patients, instead of just telling them to go buy healthy food they can’t afford, we actually give it to them.”
“Our wallets are empty,” said Grant, a student at Northern Essex. “It’s tough to work. We don’t have the option to buy all these foods. I took home carrots, onions, mangoes… I haven’t seen a mango in years.”
We currently operate 19 mobile markets, including several Health Center Mobile Markets:
To find a mobile market, program or food assistance program, please visit our Need Food page >