The Castle Group
The Castle Group
First-of-its-Kind Food Distribution Center Expands Access to Nutritious Food in Medford
Elected officials, residents, and human service organizations celebrate grand opening of the Mystic Community Market
Medford, MA – Feb. 14, 2020 – A coalition of community providers including The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the Malden YMCA, and the Walnut Street Center announced today that the Mystic Community Market is now open for business in Medford, Massachusetts. The food distribution center will also serve the surrounding communities of Malden and Somerville.
The Mystic Community Market was made possible by funding from the Wolk Family and their company Agero. The Wolks have been longtime supporters of GBFB, and they have made a generous commitment to GBFB’s Hunger Free efforts. A plaque honoring this commitment was unveiled at the event and will be displayed in market.
In attendance at the grand opening were community members, prominent government officials and leaders from all three organizations involved in the partnership. It was a celebration of the community’s ability to identify and successfully address the unmet nutritional needs of its residents and neighbors in nearby towns.
“Each of us has to be involved to truly put an end to hunger,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “Collective efforts like our new food pantry here in Medford, led by our incredible local leaders, are key to ensuring that no one in our community goes to bed hungry. By working together and leading with compassion, I know we can make Eastern Massachusetts hunger free by 2028!”
This event came on the heels of last week’s joint resolution by Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo- Koehn, Medford City Council and the Medford School Committee pledging to make Medford Hunger Free by 2028. “The key to our City’s success in ending hunger by 2028 can be summed up in one word: partnerships,” said Koehn during Friday’s event. “Partnerships within our City, with individual residents, non-profit organizations, houses of worship, and city departments, as well as those with neighboring communities and regional organizations.”
The Mystic Community Market places an emphasis on nutrition and community health, specifically focused on increasing capacity and accessibility to healthy nutritious foods. This is in-line with the GBFB vision of a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028.
“Our goal is to make Eastern Massachusetts Hunger Free by 2028,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank. “To make this vision a reality we need community partners, like those in Medford, to take on this pledge with us. That is what Medford has done, and we are proud to have the opening of the Mystic Community Market be part of this Hunger Free commitment.”
The new Mystic Community Market is a product of a successful collaboration among organizations and sectors to address food insecurity in a high-need community such as Medford, where one in 11 residents are food insecure. It plans to distribute 200,000 meals to community members in need in just the first year of operation. This best-in-class food distribution center serves as an example guiding future efforts aimed at ending hunger across Eastern Massachusetts.
“Our tagline is ‘making lives more meaningful’ and the ways that we try to accomplish this are different for every person, but they all include one thing: community,” said Carolyne Guffey, CEO of Walnut Street Center. “This project allows WSC participants, who are often marginalized, to join in, give back, and most importantly to connect.”
“No person should ever feel the shame or fear of not knowing where their next meal will come from,” said Debbie Amaral, CEO of the Malden YMCA. “The show of support from our community and leaders today is encouraging proof that this coalition of providers is not alone in that belief. The Mystic Community Market is a bold step towards a hunger free community, and we could not be more proud to help lead this effort.”
About The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides the equivalent of nearly 57 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month with a vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.
About the Walnut Street Center
Walnut Street Center is a non-profit human services agency that provides comprehensive supports to adults with intellectual disabilities. The center was founded in 1970 by a community of parents seeking services for their own children and has grown to include the services: comprehensive Residential Services and several Day Service options. The Walnut Street Center serves over 150 people annually. In 2016, the center became part of an expanded service area, which now covers Arlington, Boston, Cambridge, Everett, Malden, Lynnfield, Medford, Melrose, Reading, North Reading, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, and Wakefield. The agency is proud to partner with the Medford community and surrounding communities in Greater Boston to provide quality services.
About the Malden YMCA
For over 140 years, the Malden YMCA has supported the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility from its main facility in downtown Malden, as well as community outreach sites in Malden, Everett and Medford. The Y is particularly proud of making sure that a family’s financial resources are not a barrier to participation, so each year they provide over $400,000 in free or reduced program or membership fees for youth and families in need. The Malden Y currently serves over 57,000 free meals and 47,000 healthy snacks to over 4,000 youth and teens at 20 summer sites and 7 year-round sites in Malden, Everett and Medford. Additionally, its Grocery Program is already reaching thousands of families in need through food pantries, a Weekend Grocery Program, and “Pop-Up Mobile Market” events. In 2019, the Malden YMCA distributed over 270,000 lbs. of fresh food to 16,640 individuals. To learn more visit www.ymcamalden.org and connect with them on Facebook: @YMCAMalden.