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ABHC Food Access

ABHC’s reestablished Food Access Committee works to engage the Allston Brighton community through community-led programming, resource sharing, and advocacy. The committee recognizes that Allston Brighton is a multicultural and multigenerational community where we advocate for equitable access to affordable, culturally diverse, fresh and nutritious food for our community. The committee includes community members and organizations who collectively work to make food more affordable, equitable, and accessible for our neighborhood. 

In spring 2024, ABHC’s Food Access Committee identified four areas of focus to prioritize over the next several years.  

  1. Identify and use additional garden, growing, or green spaces in Allston-Brighton – The working group advocates for more open spaces for community gardens, rooftops, food forests as a way to increase access to fresh produce in our community with opportunities to increase gardening education.  
  2. ​​Plan and host opportunities to build community through food -The working group creates community connections through food by planning and hosting events around food and community resource sharing.
  3. Create and and coordinate a cultural food program to increase access to culturally-relevant foods in Allston-Brighton – The working group advocates to increase mobile street food stall and BIPOC food establishments, and works with the city to increase the presence of the Double Up Food Bucks Program in Allston-Brightons already established corner stores.
  4. Develop and run a community-owned grocery store (Food Co-op) – The working group is developing a business plan for a community-owned and operated grocery store. Co-ops increase access to nutritious produce with opportunities to create deeper affordability through subsidized membership dues.

Other ways the committee is leading ABHC’s Food Access work:

  1. Brighton Farmers Market – Committee members support and advise on the planning and operations of the ABHC’s summer farmers market.
  2. Resource ConnectionMembers share useful tools and information to support food access in our neighborhood.
  3. DataMembers review neighborhood data and census maps to determine the needs of the community and look for gaps in access.  

How To Join

Each focus area has its own working group where community members are actively pursuing these efforts. We meet monthly as a group to discuss and support our efforts as a collective.

To get involved in the committee please contact ABHC’s Food Access Coordinator, Jessi, for more information and calendar invites to our zoom meetings. Anyone interested in engaging in this space must join the ABHC Network to become a Committee Member.

Brighton Farmers Market

Since 2016, the Brighton Farmers Market has offered locally grown produce, fresh fish, sustainable meats, and specialty foods. 

Through our 2015 community food access needs assessment process, community members identified a farmers market as a top priority to improve food access, and ABHC responded. ABHC established the Brighton Farmers Market in 2016 in partnership with ABCD Neighborhood Opportunity Center, Brighton Main Streets, and Presentation School Foundation. Since 2019, ABHC has solely managed the market on Brighton Common, and has grown the market’s product variety and access to SNAP/HIP program and coupon programs.  The market prioritizes up-and-coming vendors and businesses; the majority of our market vendors are owned by women and people of color. . The market hosts a Concerts in the Common series in partnership with the Harvard Ed Portal.  The Brighton Farmers Market has become an essential part of the community, and the only community gathering space in the neighborhood that was open and accessible during the Covid-19 pandemic. We celebrate the joyful diversity of our community where folks can gather, engage, smile, shop locally, and enjoy music. This success would not be possible without the years of support we have received from supporters including Brighton Main Streets, Charlesview Inc., Hamilton Company, the Harvard Ed Portal, and Harvard University.

Resource Connection

ABHC is a leader in connecting community based organizations with one another to increase expanded food access in the Allston Brighton area.  This helps reduce program overlaps in the neighborhood and focus on filling food gaps as a collaborative network.