New initiative brings farm-fresh foods to city’s seniors

City nutrition experts unveiled a new program at Mattapan’s Hassan Apartment building on Dec. 7 aimed at bringing fresh produce to local seniors. Funded by Senior Whole Health, the program will provide farm shares to residents public senior housing developments. Dorchester’s Lower Mills and Peabody-Englewood Apartments will also be included in the new program.

The shares will be provided by Enterprise, an organic farm in Wheatley, MA. Each senior will be eligible to recieve a free box of fresh fruits and vegetables every week until May 2011. The program is part of a larger effort by the Mayor’s office to bring healthy food into Boston communities. The shares are expected to feed an estimated 90 people per week.

“We have found that fresh, healthy food has a very big impact on overall health,” said Edith Murnane, the Director of Food Initiatives at the Mayor’s office. “This program is one of the best ways to bring vibrant health to the community.”

The kick off event was attended by around 20 Hassan seniors who were treated to a cooking demonstration and lunch by chefs from Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street Cafe.

“I wish this had been around before!” said Carmelo Benjamin, Hassan’s Building Director. “Anytime there is fresh food, things are a lot better for seniors.”