On Thursday, December 21, staff from North End Waterfront Health (NEW Health) in the North End traveled to Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Boston to deliver bags of fruit and groceries to students at the school. The health center did this as part of a program it started in September of 2016 called Over the Bridge. The program was developed by the health center as part of an effort to lessen food insecurity in Charlestown.
Since opening a satellite health center at 15 Tufts Street in Charlestown, health center staff has learned that Charlestown is known as a food desert; meaning citizens in the area do not have reliable access to quality food at affordable prices. Since NEW Health’s new site is across the street from the Harvard-Kent school, CEO Jim Luisi, felt it was a good place to start trying to get good quality fruit and vegetables to more families.
“Many of the students at the Harvard-Kent come from families who are in need, and they live right in our neighborhood in Charlestown. We started this program because we wanted to try and reach those families and make sure they are receiving help,” said Mr. Luisi.
On Thursday, NEW Health staff provided 75 bags of fresh fruit to help families over the school break. The Over the Bridge Program also includes a restaurant donated lunch up to twice a month where health center staff provides an educational talk about nutrition to students at the elementary school.