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As a 2008-09 Tufts-Schweitzer Fellow, Maura Schorr Beaufait worked to address food insecurity by developing and implementing a garden-based nutrition education program in Somerville elementary schools. Four years later, Beaufait is the Healthy Food Access Coordinator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)’s Bowdoin Street Health Center — and as she tells Chris Lovett of Boston Neighborhood Network in this clip, she’s working to expand low-income Dorchester residents’ access to healthy foods (including fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and — most recently — fresh, wild-caught fish).

“We’re really trying to make sure that access is happening in the neighborhood,” Beaufait says. “[In addition to our farmers market], we also partner with corner stores to help them improve their product variety … not just fruits and vegetables, but also lean proteins, lean meats. We’ve had a store — America’s Food Basket, right there on Bowdoin Street, across from the health center — introduce a variety of health products, including nonfat plain yogurt, turkey bacon, and all sorts of alternatives that sit side by side — and are marketed equally — with more unhealthy items.”

Thanks to our friends at BIDMC for sharing this story — and for supporting efforts to reduce barriers to fresh food access in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Beaufait is a member of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life network — a pipeline of Schweitzer Fellowship alumni with the dedication, training, and skills to improve health and effect change in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world. To learn more, click here.

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