Massachusetts General Brigham (MGB) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Revere, celebrated the unveiling of the MGH Revere HealthCare Center Food Pantry & Teaching Kitchen, located at 300 Ocean Avenue, Revere, on March 22. HealthCare providers, with state and local officials, expressed their devotion to prompting nutrition, preventing cardio-metabolic diseases, and reducing food insecurity.

“On behalf of my neighbors in Revere, we thank the entire MGH team for your selfless, persistent service to this community,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “Today we honor our most sacred responsibilities as a society: that no person should face injustice or hunger. Access to food is a fundamental right. Every day, this beautiful facility upholds that truth. We are transforming the lives of 80 families every week; and I’m sure that is going to grow.”

Congresswoman Clark revealed that 34 million Americans are food insecure, including 9 million children, more than 5 million seniors, and a quarter of the nation’s active-duty service members. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Congresswoman Clark announced that later that day, she would be sharing the facility’s commitment to ending hunger with colleagues at the United States Capitol in Washington. “I am incredibly proud that our system is investing in making nutrition-related diseases a thing of the past. It’s a priority,” emphasized Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, Chief Commmunity Health & Health Equity Officer, Mass General Brigham. “We start by encouraging the work that is happening at MGH Revere to increase access to food.”

The plant-based food pantry originally opened in December 2019 at a temporary site on Broadway, Revere, with the goal of becoming the healthiest food pantry in the greater-Boston area. “We made a commitment to only serve fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains,” explained Debbie Jacobson, Administrative Director, MGH Revere HealthCare Center. “Shortly after opening, COVID-19 hit. That changed everything. We expanded from our pilot program -- approximately serving 10 families – to providing for 80 families a week.”

Jacobson believed that having a permanent home for the MGH Revere Food Pantry was vital to providing free, healthy foods to patients in need. “With the generous support of MGH, MGB, our donors, and the development team, we have a wonderful new space that will be instrumental in helping serve the community,” acknowledged Jacobson. “I am tremendously grateful to my team and their support.” According to Jacobson, who co-founded the MGH Revere Food Pantry with Jacob Mirsky, MD, MA, DipABLM, the MGH Revere Food Pantry distributed 150,000 pounds of food in 2022, half of that being produce. “Our goal was to create the nation’s most comprehensive program addressing hunger, health, and nutrition through food, education, and research” declared Mirsky, Founder and Medical Director, MGH Revere Food Pantry & Teaching Kitchen. “The investment in this community and this space is a testament to addressing the social determinants of health.”

As a primary care physician, Joshua Metlay, MD, PhD, believes that the MGH Food Pantry is important for the healthcare workforce; and that patients’ health is determined more by what happens outside clinics and hospitals.

“This event is important to align with our more than 200-year mission to community health,” noted Metlay, Interim Chief, Department of Medicine, MGH. “I find this aspect compelling because people fly from around the world for our care, but they also come from across the street. We care about the people across the street. This is where joy and work reside.”


Original story HERE.