Cynthia and her boyfriend moved from New Jersey to New Bedford four years ago because it was cheaper to live, had more opportunities to work, and they wanted to start a family.
Like many working families, however, Cynthia and her boyfriend struggle to make ends meet and provide for their three young daughters.
“When our family started growing, so did our expenses,” she said.
Cynthia works as a medical assistant in the pediatrics department at The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, where The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) holds one of its Mobile Markets—a free, monthly, farmer’s market-style food distribution. Cynthia said she looks forward to the Mobile Market for two reasons: how much money it saves her family, and the quality of the food.
“I love the Mobile Market. You have no idea how much it helps families. It’s incredible how much money we save because everything is so expensive in the supermarket,” she said. “We have to teach our kids to eat healthy, but the most expensive stuff in the supermarket are fruits and veggies. A bag of chips or a bottle of soda is cheaper than healthy food. So that’s why everybody here loves the Mobile Market.”
Working in a health center during a pandemic is stressful, Cynthia said, but because helping people is her passion, she enjoys her work. Cynthia returned from maternity leave in the spring, after the birth of her third daughter. “Everything I save on food I can spend on diapers, baby formula, things like that,” she said.
She mentioned what she loves most is the variety and quality of the food she receives. “I got bananas and apples this month, next month its melons,” she said. “It’s all so fresh and yummy.” Cynthia said the entire community gets excited each month when it’s time for the Mobile Market. “It helps all the families who come here, a lot of them aren’t working, especially now with everything going on,” she said. “You make so many families so happy with this Market.”