On Thursday, September 3, 2015 our partners in Brockton celebrated something innovative, collaborative, and exciting: the grand opening of Vicente’s Tropical Supermarket and the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (BNHC). This opening demonstrates a unique collaboration across sectors, linking access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods with healthcare and nutrition and cooking education. The location for the project filled an empty warehouse space near downtown Brockton, and is providing access to new jobs, quality food, and quality healthcare to some of Brockton’s low-income neighborhoods. The opening featured remarks from BNHC’s CEO, Sue Joss, Vicente’s owner Jason Barbosa, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Warren spoke about what an amazing collaboration the project is and how programs like the federal government’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative should be used to support creative ideas just like this one. Sue Joss stressed the importance for community health centers to be addressing social determinants of health, and not just direct healthcare. This is exactly what the health center/supermarket collaboration is doing, not just addressing healthcare, but addressing access to healthy foods. The event ended with a free catered lunch from Vicente’s hot foods kitchen and tours of the new health center facility. For more information on the BNHC you can visit their website at: http://www.bnhc.org/main.html.
Read The Nation‘s write-up: “One Novel Way to Bring Healthcare to Poor Neighborhoods”