Client(s): Worcester County Food Bank
Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Applied Research & Evaluation
Technical Expertise: Community Health Coalitions, Safety Net, Healthy Communities
Access to healthy food continues to be a challenge to many residents of Worcester, Massachusetts. To address this problem, a coalition founded Hunger-Free and Healthy to help address this problem. From 2009 through 2011, JSI served as the project evaluator for the project. Funded by the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts (HFCM), the Worcester County Food Bank served as the lead agency in a coalition of groups promoting food security and healthy eating in the City of Worcester. Activities included advocating for healthier foods in schools, outreach to enroll residents in SNAP (formerly food stamps), development of farmers' markets and community gardens and education on how to cook with health foods. Our evaluation found an increase in health foods in schools, well-utilized farmers' markets and school gardens, and an increase in SNAP enrollment.