Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response

Blog / Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response

In the 100 days since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in Boston, About Fresh has turned our initial scrappy response into a sophisticated and scalable system that’s getting more food to the households that need it than we have ever delivered before.

How we got here

We designed a door-to-door delivery system

-We scaled last-mile delivery operations by connecting our Fresh Connect platform to a delivery technology platform. This enabled us to enroll high-need households through health systems, community partners, and the City of Boston to ensure more than 5,000 households a week were getting fresh, healthy food at the right address at the right time. 

Our partners stepped up and worked fast

-We partnered with the City of Boston to develop a shared enrollment system for households at the highest risk for the virus.

-Our wholesale food distributor, Katsiroubas Bros, stood up the Fresh Box sourcing and packing operation. 

-Brigham Health enrolled patients through COVID-19 testing sites to enable them to stay home and limit spread. 

-After hearing that we were in need of last-mile delivery support, CEO of Gourmet Caterers, Bob Wiggins offered to leverage the Payroll Protection Program funds they had received to keep his staff employed making Fresh Box deliveries. 

-And more than 300 people from Boston communities stepped up and collectively volunteered more than 2,300 hours to support door-to-door Fresh Box deliveries!

We redesigned the Fresh Truck mobile market model

-Two-weeks after statewide COVID-19 lockdown went into effect, the Fresh Truck team, headed up by Megan Huang, launched our Fresh Truck Open Air Mobile Markets across seven Boston sites. 

-Over three-months of operating Open Air markets, we have processed more than 2,800 transactions, 90% of which were SNAP.

Moving Forward

The work is not over. COVID-19 remains a threat across the city while the economic crisis continues to hit hard. Our low-income communities of color will be hit hardest on both fronts. Our programs are built to last and we will continue to adapt to new needs and new circumstances. 

Here’s what our team is doing next:

Expanding ‘Open Air’ Fresh Truck markets – As restrictions begin to lift we are working with our neighborhood partners to launch additional market sites for shoppers to use their SNAP and P-EBT funds on food. We are working to add 10 additional market sites to the schedule before the end of the year. 

Healthcare system integration – Food insecurity continues to be a strategic priority for health systems. We are accelerating the development of our Fresh Connect platform to meet the needs of health systems and their patients with upgraded features and a streamlined patient enrollment process.

Fresh Connect delivery integration – COVID-19 has expedited the need for Fresh Connect to be integrated into commercial grocery delivery systems. The Fresh Connect team has launched the exploration that will make it possible for Fresh Connect shoppers to order grocery delivery online using their Fresh Connect card. 


Food security is a crucial part of public health emergency and economic crisis response. The ability to put food on the table can make all the difference in times of fear and uncertainty. We need your support to continue to build programs that will carry our communities through this pandemic right now and into the future. 

Blog / Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response

COVID-19 Food Resource Guide

Blog / COVID-19 Food Resource Guide

Boston area organizations have mobilized quickly in response to COVID shutdowns. There are a variety of food and meal pick-up options depending on the needs of your household.  

Project Bread Food Source Hotlinecontinues to have the most up-to-date information on food resources, including new school sites, food pantries, and federal programs. They can also help callers with SNAP applications over the phone. 

FoodSource Hotline: 800-645-8333 – TTY 1-800-377-1292


8am-7pm, Monday-Friday

10am-2pm on Saturdays  

The Greater Boston Food Bank – has released a list of state-wide food resources for COVID-19 hunger relief including school meal sites, pantry locations, and support on signing up for SNAP. 

Meal Pick-up Sites [Boston children and teens only] -The City of Boston will provide free meals to all children and teens at various locations and times across the City.

Ethos Meals on Wheels [For older adults] – Ethos offers a number of programs and services to assist older adults through this crisis including Meals on Wheels and Community Cafes for grab & go meals.


Blog / COVID-19 Food Resource Guide

Fresh Box Program Overview

Blog / Fresh Box Program Overview

Since the suspension of our Fresh Truck mobile markets program on March 13th, our team has been focused on developing a new model for food distribution that reduces the risk of further transmission of COVID-19 while increasing food access opportunities citywide.


Fresh Box is a community-based food distribution program developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The program is designed for social distancing, citywide reach across Boston, and cost-efficiency. The goal of Fresh Box is to provide food access for Boston residents throughout the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown and to support local businesses. The program is supported by the Boston Resiliency Fund.

How it works

About Fresh has partnered with Katsiroubas Bros. Produce to leverage their fleet of 65-refrigerated box trucks, 200-person labor force, and their international supply chain network to offer pre-packed ‘Fresh Truck Boxes’ with about a week’s worth of produce to the Boston households least able to access food at this time.


About Fresh has partnered with the City of Boston Office of Food Access, the Age Strong Commission, and a network of community partners to implement this program.


Because our capacity for door-to-door deliveries of Fresh Boxes is limited we are prioritizing deliveries for Boston households that:

-Are homebound either due to illness, disability or quarantine and do not have friends/family that can bring food

-Have been relying on the emergency food system and the food pantry or meal program they visit has been closed

-Have lost their job or part of their income and cannot afford groceries at this time

-Are at high risk for coronavirus and do not have access to a regular food source

If your household meets any of these criteria and you would like to inquire about receiving a Fresh Box please email the Office of Food access at  food@boston.gov.

If your household does not qualify for delivery but remains in need of food resources please see the COVID Food Resource Guide for information about additional food programs available in Boston.


We are recruiting volunteers with vehicles that are willing to support our team’s work to deliver Fresh Boxes. As volunteer opportunities arise, we will email the list with specifics about time, location, and specific volunteer duties.  Sign-up to volunteer here.

For questions about Fresh Box or how you can help please reach out to covidresponse@aboutfresh.org.

Support our work to get critical food to households affected by COVID-19. 



Blog / Fresh Box Program Overview

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

About Fresh COVID-19 Self-Isolation and Risk Mitigation Protocol 

Blog / About Fresh COVID-19 Self-Isolation and Risk Mitigation Protocol 

About Fresh COVID-19 Self-Isolation and Risk Mitigation Protocol 

About Fresh has developed a self-isolation and risk mitigation protocol to guard our team, shoppers, partners, and the broader community from the harmful impacts of COVID-19. The standards put in place by About Fresh exceed the stringency of guidance of World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). 

Based on guidance from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) the term close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is considered: face-to-face contact less than 6ft away for more than 10-minutes while a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is presenting with symptoms.

About Fresh COVID-19 Self Isolation and Risk Mitigation Protocol

  • Regardless of “close contact”, all About Fresh staff that interact with any individual who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 are prohibited from our office, warehouse, and all About Fresh direct operations for 2-weeks.
  • Any About Fresh staff member that encounters symptoms, however mild, associated with COVID-19 (e.g. cough, fever, shortness of breath etc.) are prohibited from the office, warehouse, and all About Fresh programs for 2-weeks past their last day of symptoms. 
  • Starting today, March 24, all About Fresh staff are required to take their own temperature before arriving at the About Fresh office, warehouse, or About Fresh direct programs. Any temperature reading above 100 degrees will trigger an automatic 2-week quarantine.

The About Fresh team is constantly monitoring the latest public health guidance on the management of COVID-19 and will adjust our protocol accordingly as new guidance emerges.

Blog / About Fresh COVID-19 Self-Isolation and Risk Mitigation Protocol 

About Fresh Statement on Corona Virus March 13, 2020

Blog / About Fresh Statement on Corona Virus March 13, 2020

About Fresh is suspending Fresh Truck mobile markets immediately, starting Friday, March 13

To protect About Fresh shoppers and help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), About Fresh is temporarily suspending its Fresh Truck Mobile Markets starting immediately, on Friday, March 13. Markets will remain closed for the foreseeable future.  

About Fresh regrets having to take this sudden step. We have made this difficult decision in light of information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control. 

In the weeks ahead, we intend to collaborate with our community partners, other food-access organizations, and the City of Boston to find other ways to get healthy food to those who need it. We will post updates about any new opportunities this creates to use your SNAP or HIP benefits to purchase fresh produce when we have news to share. 

At About Fresh, we are inspired by our vision of a day when everyone has the food they need to be happy, healthy, and hopeful. We look forward to re-opening our Fresh Truck Mobile Markets as soon as the MA DPH determines that the risk of continued Coronavirus spread has declined enough for us to do so. 

Until then, we wish everyone – our neighbors, our shoppers, our partners, and our staff – good health. 

Thank you. 

Blog / About Fresh Statement on Corona Virus March 13, 2020

Announcing Adam!

Get to know Adam Shyevitch, About Fresh’s new Chief Program Officer. Adam joined us this November to lead our program strategy and continue to build the About Fresh team for success.

What made you excited to join the About Fresh team?

A powerful vision for social change makes a difference in people’s lives when it inspires excellent implementation and constant learning. About Fresh has that powerful vision, and I’m thrilled to join a team already so dedicated to making that difference, continuing to learn, and doing our best every day for our shoppers and their communities.

Tell us about how you’ve spent your career so far.

I’ve been fortunate to lead and build teams across healthcare delivery, affordable housing development and youth services. Most recently, I was a Principal at Health Leads, a national organization that partners with communities and health systems to address the systemic causes of health inequity and disease.

What are you excited to get to work on?

I’m excited about it all! The Fresh Truck is a great way to deliver healthy fruit and vegetables to people who need it most, and Fresh Connect promises to deliver an unprecedented connection between personal healthcare goals and community health priorities. We’ve just started tapping the potential of these programs. There is a huge opportunity to expand them to serve more households in more places across the city. The future is really exciting!

What is your favorite food memory?

I’ve got so many! But right now, I’m in the mood for warm, buttered toast with a schmear of sweet halva. Halva is a middle eastern spread made of sesame seeds, sugar, and sometimes a bit of chocolate. Every bite holds happy childhood memories. mmmm. Now I’m hungry!


We are growing and planning to hire for additional roles through the beginning of 2020. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new positions at About Fresh.


Blog / Announcing Adam!

We’re hiring a full-time Market Manager!

Blog / We’re hiring a full-time Market Manager!

Organizational Overview

About Fresh is a Boston area nonprofit on a mission to improve health outcomes in low-income communities by getting healthy food to the households that need it most. Our programs are built to be integrated into community healthcare systems and scaled to the 15 million food-insecure households in the United States.


  • Fresh Truck mobile markets bring affordable, healthy food closer to low-income communities
  • Fresh Connect is a software platform that enables health care providers to prescribe food as medicine and analyze health-related impacts
Job Description

Market Managers are the face of Fresh Truck in our communities, they make the shopping experience for our customers delightful and unique. This role requires a diverse skill set blending food purveyor, truck driver, and customer service representative. We’re looking for someone with an unrelenting passion for community building and food.

What you’ll do:

  • Drive a full-size, 39ft school bus
  • Manage daily mobile market operations from bus loading/unloading, inventory management, restocking, to cleaning
  • Create an inviting shopping experience through engaging customer service
  • Manage market support staff of youth employees and volunteers
  • Support other Fresh Truck initiatives such as community outreach, customer surveys, and
    operations process improvement
Who you are
  • An excellent driver, accustomed to driving in an urban environment; strong preference for individuals with experience driving box trucks and large vehicles
  • You’re willing to get your hands dirty, comfortable with some heavy lifting and will stop at nothing to make things happen
  • Embrace working within diverse community settings and with a strong sense of social justice; being multilingual (Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin) is huge a plus
  • Driver’s license with clean driving record for the past 3 years
  • Ability to lift ~50lb on a regular basis
  • Positive attitude and willingness to learn
Compensation and Benefits
  • Competitive, experience-based salary: $40,000-$45,000 annually
  • Full medical, dental, and vision insurance, full-time only
  • Free groceries every shift
  • Work day in and day out to make Boston a healthier city

To apply email your resume and a short note telling us why you’re excited about the job with the subject line “Market Manager candidate” to jobs@aboutfresh.org.

Blog / We’re hiring a full-time Market Manager!

Meet Pamela Hoyt: The Inspiration Behind Our Newest Mobile Market’s Name

Blog / Meet Pamela Hoyt: The Inspiration Behind Our Newest Mobile Market’s Name

When it comes to the process of naming our mobile markets, we look for people who have had a significant impact on the organization’s life. We had the opportunity to interview Pamela Hoyt, whose been an incredible advocate for Fresh Truck and an outstanding community organizer.


You’ve been involved with Fresh Truck for 4 years now. How did you originally become involved with Fresh Truck?

Well, I was working with Rosie’s Place by Franklin Field at the time. One of my duties was to get folks organized to get on the truck to get their food; I would hand out Fresh Truck cards and make sure five people were on the truck at a time. I started working with Alex (a former employee) and we cliqued very well. When Josh and Annika wanted to make videos for Fresh Truck, Alex and I would work together to gather people for them. I started volunteering after that and this was four years ago.  


We love sharing memories. Do you have a favorite Fresh Truck memory?

One time, one event was when I first met Josh. Him and Alex came down to the senior center by Franklin Field. We were making videos with the produce from the truck: fruit salads. We made an afternoon out of it. Josh got to know the seniors better with this event. They weren’t afraid to go inside and meet folks who were using the truck and have conversations. It was really nice. 


We’re very grateful for the support you’ve given us throughout the years and love your advocacy. What does it mean to you as a community organizer to have Fresh Truck in your neighborhood?

It’s very hard for seniors to get food. I like the idea of Fresh Truck coming to different communities. It makes it easy to buy fruits and vegetables. The truck is very available and makes it so that seniors didn’t have to walk or catch a bus. Everyone who works on the truck gets to know the people in the community and they become one of us.   


As you know, all our mobile markets have names that have a significant meaning. How did you feel when you learned our newest mobile market would be named after you?

I was thrilled! When I received the call from Annika to let me know that I was in the running, I was so excited. When I read the bio Annika wrote about me, I started to cry and I was so touched that they even thought of and asked me. As an organizer, I never knew people cared about the work I was doing. I was so happy that someone appreciated the work that I do. When I looked at the list of five names, I thought it would be hard because I was running against Ayanna Pressley. I shared the news at work and my co-workers also thought it would be hard, but the director of our organization sent out email blasts and it was like an election; it was very fun and it was great. Our organization works with a lot of different organizations, so a lot of people were voting. I sent the voting link to my friend in Denmark, who ended up voting and they sent it to their friends too! When I talked to Josh, he said he didn’t know what I did, but I was winning by a landslide. I am so honored.  

Blog / Meet Pamela Hoyt: The Inspiration Behind Our Newest Mobile Market’s Name