Mill City Grows, REACH LoWELL, and Greater Lowell Health Alliance are working together to analyze and strengthen Food Security & Healthy Food Access throughout Greater Lowell
[LOWELL, MA] – Mill City Grows, REACH LoWELL, and Greater Lowell Health Alliance have joined in partnership to create a Community Food Assessment Survey that is open to all City of Lowell residents. The ultimate goal of the Community Food Assessment is to increase Lowell residents’ access to nutritious, high-quality foods that are culturally connected and affordable. The public survey is completely confidential, and closes on September 30, 2021.
The Community Food Assessment Survey was created to gather important data on how residents shop, eat, select, and access food for themselves and their families. Survey results will help local nonprofits and city officials understand the problems related to food insecurity and how best to address, and solve, inequities within our local food system. Most importantly, residents can use the survey as a platform to demand better policies and programs to meet community food needs.
“The goal of the 2021 Lowell Community Food Assessment is to ensure that all voices in our community are heard, and that the information we have, and recommendations that come from our findings are rooted in racial equity and inclusiveness. A Steering Committee made of community members is ensuring that all of our decision making, and survey design reflects community voices,” said Ali Jacobs, Director of Programs at Mill City Grows, and Project Director for the CFA.
Mill City Grows, as a convening member of the Lowell Food Security Coalition, helped to conduct a similar survey in 2013. The resulting data showed that while residents were interested in eating more produce, they had difficulty accessing the products they wanted at affordable prices. Those findings drove the creation of Mill City Grows’ programs and partnerships throughout Lowell.
For questions about the Community Food Assessment Survey, please contact Mill City Grows Director of Programs Alison Jacobs at Ali@millcitygrows.org or call 978-455-2620.
About Mill City Grows
Since 2011, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About REACH LoWELL
REACH LoWELL is an initiative funded by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which focuses on effective racial and ethnic approaches to community health. REACH LoWELL seeks to eliminate disparities among the Southeast Asian and Hispanic/LatinX residents of Lowell, MA, with an emphasis on those who are at high risk of uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes. REACH LoWELL strategies include culturally tailored health promotion activities, systems change to increase physical activity and access to healthier foods in the community; and increased community-wide education, with the aim of increasing knowledge of health care systems.
About Greater Lowell Health Alliance
The Greater Lowell Health Alliance of the Community Health Network Area 10 (GLHA) is composed of healthcare providers, business leaders, educators, civic and community leaders with a common goal to help the Greater Lowell community identify and address its health and wellness priorities. The Greater Lowell Health Alliance was founded in 2006 through collaboration of the following partner organizations: Lowell General Hospital, Saints Medical Center, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Lowell Community Health Center, VNA of Greater Lowell, City of Lowell, and Lowell Public Schools. In 2008, the GLHA merged with the Community Health Network Area 10 (CHNA 10).
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development