About Fresh COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

Blog / About Fresh COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

About Fresh COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

The Coronavirus public health crisis is having a profound impact on the communities we serve. As levels of need continue to rise there is much to be done to ensure that Boston households are able to put food on the table.

What we have learned in the last 10-days

The About Fresh team has been focused on collecting insights from our shoppers, community partners, peer organizations, and the City to inform a new model for food distribution that reduces the risk of further transmission of COVID-19 while increasing food access opportunities citywide. We have learned a lot through this process, and want to share what is our driving decisions as we prepare to launch new operational models.

Creating safer Fresh Truck markets – We are modifying our mobile market program to limit as much contact as possible between Fresh Truck shoppers, staff, and the products we carry at the markets. This includes:

-Designing new systems to enable social distancing while shoppers wait in line, shop, and pay.

-All staff and volunteers will be expected to follow our detailed safety protocol including additional distancing and sanitizing measures.

-PPE and sanitizing equipment will be made available to all staff, volunteers, partners, and shoppers that need it.

Reaching people where they are – Fresh Truck is designed to quickly and efficiently serve households in hard to reach locations across the city. This continues to be critical in our response to COVID-19.

-Although lower risk individuals are able to grocery shop, we want the distance they travel on foot or public transportation to be as short as possible. Fresh Truck market locations will be at housing developments, senior centers, and in other residential settings.

-Based on the CDC’s recommendation for those that are at higher risk we are working on last-mile delivery solutions to get food to people’s doorsteps. This is as complex as it is critical and it will require specialized communication systems and delivery infrastructure. We are tapping local partners like City Fresh Foods for best practices on managing last-mile delivery.

Cross-sector partnerships are key – We know the city of Boston comes together in a crisis. We are leveraging the insight and resources of a multi-faceted network of organizations to design an emergency food response that extends beyond About Fresh programs.

-To ensure that we are getting food to the most impacted households we are collaborating with the Office of Food Access, social service organizations, housing agencies, health centers, and community organizers on outreach and enrollment.

-On the supply side, our food wholesalers, Katsiroubas Brothers, have stepped up in an enormous way bringing critical resources to the table including their large-scale trucking fleet and grocery packing capacity.

We have come away from conversations over the past 10 days encouraged by the strength, determination, and spirit of the agencies, organizations and resident leadership that we are shoulder to shoulder with in this work. Together, we will continue to adapt solutions and find ways to get food to households that need it most.

The Fresh Truck team is launching the first pilot of our new market format tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24. We expect to continue ramping up operations through this week. We will continue to share updates as they come.


Stay safe,

The About Fresh Team

Blog / About Fresh COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020

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