Food access initiatives: An integral piece of the Revere, Massachusetts, COVID-19 response


  • Molly Babbin Cambridge Health Alliance and Middlebury College
  • Rachel M. Zack The Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Jean Granick Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Kathleen Betts Cambridge Health Alliance



Emergency Food Response, COVID-19, Pandemic, Food Access


First paragraphs:

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is a community health care system that serves the region north of Boston, including the city of Revere, Massachu­setts. In an effort to confront the root causes of poor health, CHA has engaged in an initiative to address the social determinants of health, including food insecurity, homelessness, and unemployment. In 2017, we learned that 51% of our patients in Revere screened positive for food insecurity. In response, we committed to increasing our patients’ access to healthy foods.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated Revere’s existing financial and health challenges: unemployment spiked, and during several periods of the past seven months, the city experienced the second-highest infection rate in Massachusetts. To support the community, we worked with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to expand our monthly free produce market at our local health center. We also joined forces with city leadership to promote the produce market, organize food truck pop-ups, and support the city’s rapid expansion of innovative and coor­dinated food distribution programs. Figure 1 illustrates the components of Revere’s food response.


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Author Biographies

Molly Babbin, Cambridge Health Alliance and Middlebury College

Intern, Community Health Improvement Department, and BA Candidate

Rachel M. Zack, The Greater Boston Food Bank

ScD, ScM, Senior Data Analyst

Jean Granick, Cambridge Health Alliance

MS, Community Health Improvement Department

Kathleen Betts, Cambridge Health Alliance

MPH, Community Health Improvement Department

Logos for Voices from the Grassroots and JAFSCD Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic



How to Cite

Babbin, M., Zack, R., Granick, J., & Betts, K. (2021). Food access initiatives: An integral piece of the Revere, Massachusetts, COVID-19 response. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 313–318.

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