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A Collaborative Approach

Alleviating Hunger in Mystic Valley during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Celebrating the opening of Mystic Community Market

Earlier this year The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) made history by launching our first GBFB-supported food pantry, the Mystic Community Market. For the first time ever, GBFB was involved in the inception and development of a food pantry, allowing us to implement the knowledge we’ve accumulated from 40 years of working with our member agencies to create a pantry that serves fresh, healthy food in a high-need community. Although it is our newest partnership, Mystic Community Market is already playing a vital role in our efforts to meet the growing demand for food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Medford market has served 13,818 households and 53,215 individuals between April 1 and May 26, 2020. With an emphasis on distributing fresh produce, protein, and dairy, Mystic Community Market has distributed over 386,946 pounds of healthy food to our neighbors in need.

The market will help us close the meal gap in Medford—one of our highest-need areas. Debbie Amaral, CEO of the Malden YMCA, shared that “many of participants come from Medford, Malden, Everett, Somerville, and Chelsea… but [they] have been amazed to see families come from as far as Lowell, Lawrence, and the South Shore.”

The market is a collaboration between three partners: the Malden YMCA, the Walnut Street Center and GBFB. We also have the strong support of the Medford City Council and School Committee.

 “Thanks to this program and the partnerships that have grown out of the Market before and during this crisis, we are already moving the needle on the meal gap and food insecurity in our communities, Amaral said.

Your gift will help us continue our efforts to provide healthy food to our neighbors in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Featured image: Community members and elected officials, including Rep. Katherine Clark (second from right), attended the grand opening of the Mystic Valley Community Market, which served more than 200 households in its first week of operation in February.

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