While the City of Boston has created food access points to help address food insecurity caused by COVID-19, for many in the city, limited mobility or lack of transportation means that these resources are still out of reach. Boston Medical Center recognized that for their most medically fragile patients, alternatives would be necessary to ensure they received nutritious food appropriate for their specific dietary needs. With support from CVS Health, they developed a COVID-19 Emergency Social Services Fund to help support this vulnerable population.
One family helped by this program were connected with the fund after both parents were admitted to Boston Medical Center for inpatient COVID-19 care, leaving their oldest son, just a teenager, to take care of his younger siblings as they quarantined at home. Unable to leave the house, they were in dire need of food. A volunteer was able to work quickly with food pantry staff to pack a box of food for delivery and bring it to the family’s home. Since the volunteer couldn’t hand the box directly to the family, to ensure they received it safely, she instead left it on their doorstep and waited in her car while they collected it.
Funding from CVS Health allowed Boston Medical Center to provide no-cost meals to over 2,000 low-income individuals, many of whom are hourly wage earners without paid sick leave or who are unable to work due to the pandemic. All told, the program has distributed 17,000 meals so far, providing support and security to families in need.