Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Helps Fall River Residents Eat Healthier
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care provided a $10,000 grant to Fall River’s Mass in Motion program and Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. to purchase freezers for local food pantries to stock frozen vegetables and improve food access to low-income area residents. The first recipient of a freezer was The Gates of Hope Food Pantry in the former Davol School on Flint Street was the first freezer recipient. The grant included funding for bags of frozen vegetables to stock the freezers.
"We're very grateful for this grant," explained Faith Scallion who operates The Gates of Hope Food Pantry. "We often receive donations of frozen food but have no way of storing it so it can be distributed to families in need. This donation from Harvard Pilgrim is wonderful," she added.
The idea to help relieve food insecurity in the city started last November when Greg Byrne, senior marketing specialist, and Kate McEvoy-Zdonczyk, vice president of business development, both with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, connected with Mass in Motion Fall River. Gates of Hope in the Flint Neighborhood was chosen as the first location, given the number of residents in need that the agency serves across Fall River. Gates of Hope volunteers and Mass in Motion Fall River staff members joined with Byrne and McEvoy-Zdonczyk at the Davol School on February 17th 2017 to see the operation in action.
“Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has made it a priority to help people living in urban areas get access to healthy food,”said McEvoy-Zdonczyk. “We wanted to make a lasting impact in the Flint neighborhood, and providing the Gates of Hope with a new freezer will make it possible for neighborhood residents to have vegetables all year round.”
Mass in Motion Fall River staff members Julianne Kelly and Eric Andrade, as well as Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. Executive Director Dr. Dave Weed are working to ensure that more freezers will be purchased for local food pantries to enable them to supply low-income people with frozen vegetables, especially during times of the year when fresh produce is not available.