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Boston Foundation Supports Bowdoin Street Health Center Healthy Food Access Project

ConAgra Foods Foundation grant will also support establishing community relationships around healthy food

BOSTON - The Boston Foundation has awarded the Bowdoin Street Health Center a three-year, $270,000 grant to support its efforts to improve access to fresh produce and other healthy food choices for residents of Dorchester's Bowdoin/Geneva section.

The grant supports the health center's Healthy Food Access Project, which links a community farmers' market with corner stores and area restaurants, consumers and Dorchester youth and helps local store owners revamp their merchandising in order to make the sale of fresh produce and other healthy foods a good business proposition.

Additionally, the center was one of 11 organizations in 10 different states to receive funding as part of the inaugural ConAgra Foods Foundation Community Impact Grants program, receiving $24,985 for the same project. More than 325 non-profit organizations from across the country responded to the new ConAgra grant program.

"We are pleased that The Boston Foundation and the ConAgra Foods Foundation have made such a significant commitment to our community," said Bowdoin Street Health Center Executive Director Adela Margules. "We are very excited to be able to partner with our community residents and local businesses to create permanent opportunities to provide healthy food choices in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood."

The Boston Foundation President and CEO Paul S. Grogan said, "We are particularly pleased to invest in an organization whose important work is so closely aligned with the Foundation's commitment to encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity."

"Nearly 17 million children in the United States struggle with hunger throughout the year. That's almost one in four kids. There are hundreds of groups doing their part to help children in need, and we're focusing our funding on identifying and funding groups that are using innovative solutions. We'll study their successes and share them with others so that we can move closer to ending child hunger," said Kori Reed, executive director, ConAgra Foods Foundation.

The Healthy Food Access Project takes a multi-pronged approach to address the important public health issue of ensuring inner city families have access to healthy food choices. Over the next three years, the project aims to establish the economic sustainability of an existing farmers' market, support and educate local merchants to expand healthy food offerings and realize the profitability of such adaptations, and foster healthier purchasing patterns among residents through consumer education.

The ConAgra Foods Foundation, through its Nourish Today, Flourish Tomorrow platform, is dedicated to raising awareness of the nearly 17 million children in America who are at risk of hunger and don't have enough food to live active, healthful lives. It aggressively pursues sustainable solutions in the fight against child hunger. And the Foundation is committed to building a community of people who are passionate about ensuring that all kids have access to the food and facts they need to eat nutritiously while living balanced lifestyles and succeeding in school and life. ConAgra Foods Foundation invests in national and local partnerships with high-impact, not-for-profit organizations, such as Feeding America, that take an innovative approach to addressing needs in the core areas of hunger and nutrition education. For more information, please visit or The ConAgra Foods Foundation is funded solely by ConAgra Foods.

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston's community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $682 million. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Foundation and its donors made over $95 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of over $81 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community's and region's most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit

Bowdoin Street Health Center has been an active participant in the Dorchester community for nearly 40 years, offering care for infants, children, teens, adults and seniors. Its multicultural staff of physicians and nurse practitioners specialize in each of these areas to meet the needs of all age groups. Health center staff often team up with Dorchester residents, local businesses and other community-based agencies to identify and design programs that address community health concerns.

The Health Center is a member of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School. BIDMC consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit or