Utilization of Community Benefits to improve Healthy Food Access in Massachusetts

Food Access, Nutrition


Healthcare Without Harm


Under new IRS rules mandated by the Affordable Care Act, tax-exempt hospitals are encouraged to “prevent illness, to ensure adequate nutrition, or to address social, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence health in the community”. The shift in emphasis for hospitals to offer community benefits that go beyond access to services creates an opportunity for the health care sector to play a major role in improving access to healthy food and preventing chronic-diet related disease. This report review hospital efforts to improve diet and increase access to healthy food in Massachusetts. These efforts included meal programs, educational opportunities, farmers markets, mobile markets, community gardens, and much more.