Boston Globe Highlights Innovative Partnership Between Grocery Store and Health Center to Improve Healthy Eating in a Food Desert in Brockton

Monday, July 13, 2015

On July 12th, The Boston Globe highlighted an innovative partnership between Boston Community Loan Fund borrower Vicente's Tropical Grocery and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center's newest clinic in Brockton, Massachusetts. The grocery store and health center will co-locate in the new space acquired and renovated with support from Boston Community Loan Fund and others.

"There is growing recognition that it is partnerships that are really going to move the needle to create more catalytic results," comments BCLF president Michelle Volpe in the article. This partnership aims to "move the needle" by creating access to the nutritional information and instruction crucial for making healthy choices. The co-location arrangement will allow the grocery store and clinic to host food preparation demonstrations and educational events, providing instruction on how to prepare clients' favorite meals with healthy adaptations.

Vicente's is a family business owned by the Barbosa family, specializing in Cape Verdean and Caribbean cuisines. The Barbosas take their role in the community seriously: Jason Barbosa says, “You can’t just run a business and not feel that it’s your responsibility to take care of the community." Brother Kevin Barbosa adds, "Growing up in Brockton, I know what this community is like — it’s a very tough neighborhood. If we can look back 10 years from now and see a 360 here, I think my family and I can look back and say, we did it.”

Boston Community Loan Fund, together with our CDFI partners on this project,  Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) and Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), is proud to support the Vicente’s expansion.  If you’re in Brockton, be sure to check them out!

Read "Brockton grocery store and clinic team up to deliver better health" in The Boston Globe by Virgie Hoban here.