The CHA Revere Mobile Market: ‘It’s Almost Like Getting a Prescription’

Published on January 29, 2023

“Food is medicine,” says Carl Paratore, chief audit executive of Point32Health, GBFB Board of Director member, and deeply invested in the three-way partnership they’ve built with Cambridge Healthcare Alliance (CHA). Together, the three organizations launched the CHA Revere Mobile Market in March of 2018, following research by CHA that showed fully 51 percent of its patients suffered from food insecurity.

Bags of fresh food at mobile market
The CHA Revere Mobile Market provides 20–30 pounds of fresh food to community members in need.

Held the first Saturday of every month at CHA’s Revere facility, GBFB’s produce-focused Mobile Market provides 20 to 30 lbs. or 7–8 items of fresh produce per person in need. Typically, the market serves some 450 families; in 2022, it delivered nearly 137,000 pounds of food provided by GBFB to CHA patients and community residents, says Jean Granick, CHA Community Health manager and market director.

Research on food insecurity plays an ever-greater role at GBFB, revealing social determinants that help shape strategy and drive tactics. For example, GBFB’s 2019-2020 study of the Revere market showed that of the many typical barriers to client access to food pantries—e.g., mobility, time, reaching seniors, stigma—the latter never emerged as an issue.

“Often, our volunteers are CHA medical staff, so it’s not uncommon that some of the patients will see their doctors there,” Paratore explains. “It creates a different feel, a different vibe, in the relationship.”

Adds Granick: “So, getting food from your doctor’s office—it’s almost like getting a prescription.”

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