Massachusetts Food Access and Equity Report
GBFB is releasing its third state-wide food equity and access report. This data will inform our future work in the Commonwealth.
Maura Healey, Massachusetts Governor
Maura Healey is the 73rd Governor of Massachusetts. She was sworn in on January 5, 2023, becoming the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person elected Governor in Massachusetts history. Healey was elected Massachusetts Attorney General in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Healey grew up the oldest of five siblings in an old farmhouse in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. They were raised by their mother, Tracy, who worked as a nurse at the local elementary school. Her stepdad, Edward, later joined the family and was a teacher, local union president, and coached her high school basketball team, giving her a lifelong love of the game.
She attended Northeastern University School of Law and went on to work in private practice before leaving to serve as Chief of the Civil Rights Division in the Attorney General’s Office. She was promoted to oversee two of the office’s most prominent divisions: the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and the Business & Labor Bureau. During this time, she led the first state challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act and held banks and lending companies accountable after the 2008 financial crisis.
Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank
A tireless advocate for the hungry for more than 40 years, Catherine D’Amato assumed the leadership of The Greater Boston Food Bank in 1995. During her tenure, she has transformed GBFB into a $180 million charitable business and increased GBFB’s distribution from 7.5 million meals a year to nearly 90 million healthy meals this past year. She has grown GBFB’s network to 600 dedicated food distribution partners, meal programs and direct distribution sites across 190 communities across Eastern Massachusetts.
Dr. Angela Odoms-Young, PhD
The Nancy Schlegel Meining Associate Professor of Maternal and Child Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University; Member of GBFB’s Health and Research Council
Angela Odoms-Young, PhD is The Nancy Schlegel Meining Associate Professor of Maternal and Child Nutrition and Director of the Food and Nutrition Education in Communities Program and New York State Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. In 2021 she joined Cornell’s faculty after spending 13 years in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research explores social and structural determinants of dietary behaviors and diet-related diseases in low-income and Black/Latinx populations; centered on identifying culturally appropriate programs and policies that promote health equity, food justice, and community resilience.
Dr. Odoms-Young received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S./PhD in Community Nutrition from Cornell University. She completed a Family Research Consortium Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Community Health Scholars Fellowship in community-based participatory research at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Dr. Norbert Wilson, PhD
Professor of Food, Economics, and Community, Duke University; Member of GBFB’s Health and Research Council
Norbert Wilson is a Professor of Food, Economics, and Community at Duke Divinity School, with a joint appointment in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke. Professor Wilson’s research touches on several food issues, such as access, choice, and food waste. Before joining Duke Divinity School, Wilson was a professor of food policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (2017-2020). He was also a professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University (1999-2016). He was an economist/policy analyst in the Trade Directorate (2004-2006) and the Agriculture Directorate (2001-2002) of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in Paris, France.
Dr. Sara Bleich, PhD
Professor of Public Health Policy, Harvard Chan School of Public Health
Sara Bleich is the inaugural Vice Provost for Special Projects at Harvard University, director of the social sciences program and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. With more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, she is a policy expert and researcher who specializes in diet-related diseases, food insecurity, and racial inequality. A signature theme throughout her research is an interest in asking simple, meaningful questions that can fill important knowledge gaps to help inform policy. Prior to this, Bleich served in the Biden Administration as the Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity at the at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and as the Senior Advisor for COVID-19 in the Office of the Secretary at USDA. As a White House Fellow during the Obama Administration, she worked at USDA as a Senior Policy Adviser for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. Bleich holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in health policy from Harvard University.
Dr. Lauren Fiechtner, MPH
Director of Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition and GBFB Health and Research Advisor
A leading expert in obesity and food insecurity, Lauren Fiechtner, MD, focuses her research on social determinants of health, fighting food insecurity, and improving access to food assistance programs. She is the director of the Center for Feeding and Nutrition at Massgeneral Hospital for Children and serves as the Senior Health and Research Advisor at GBFB. In addition to her work with the Food Bank, Dr. Fiechtner has led several controlled trials to treat childhood obesity in clinic and community settings.
ABOUT THE TED CUTLER LECTURE
Ted Cutler was a champion for hungry kids and families throughout greater Boston. He stepped up to lead the Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope $35,000,000 capital campaign for a new food bank. Under Ted’s leadership, GBFB was able to purchase land and construct a new food bank – the 117,000 square foot warehouse at 70 South Bay.
In addition to GBFB, Ted’s legacy as a generous and thoughtful philanthropist is evident throughout Boston as his support enhanced the arts, education and health.
He often referred to the work and mission of The Greater Boston Food Bank as the “most important social justice work going on in the city of Boston.”
The Ted Cutler Lecture is generously supported by the Cutler Family.
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The fourth-annual Ted Cutler lecture was held virtually on April 28, 2022 and featured Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Claire Babineau-Fontenot, Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America, and Catherine D’Amato, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Greater Boston Food Bank discussing how the unique challenges of advancing health and hunger equity during the pandemic. Watch the full program >
The third-annual Ted Cutler Lecture was held virtually on April 14, 2021 and featured Dr. Anita McGahan, a world-renowned scholar, a University Professor at the University of Toronto, a Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and a Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management. The program featured a brief tribute to Ted by Dr. M. Lee Pelton. Watch the full program >
The second-annual Ted Cutler Lecture featured Margo G. Wootan, D.Sc., Vice President for Nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Dr. Wootan’s keynote address, “Supporting Healthy Eating for Low-Income Families” outlined the promising policy and environmental approaches that can help reshape the food system and make healthier choices easier, especially for low-income families. Joanne Jaxtimer served as the event chair. View photos | Watch the video >
The Inaugural Ted Cutler Lecture, held on April 24, 2018, featured Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA., and was chaired by Joanne Jaxtimer. Watch the video >