Several weeks ago, Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) began offering its “Food and Thought” program through the Phoenix Food Hub initiative. The new program provides education and counseling to individuals interested in addressing the important link between nutrition and mental well-being. It is just one aspect of Phoenix Food Hub, a collaborative effort spearheaded by GLSS as part of the City of Lynn’s Food Security Task Force—a consortium of 14 nonprofits committed to bringing together as many nutrition-related supports as possible to address the challenges of food insecurity, health disparities, and the root causes of hunger in Lynn and surrounding communities.
“We are very excited to add this to the growing list of supports we are able to provide, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month in May,” said GLSS’ Lynn O’Neal, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Certified Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP). “Our main focus will be on counseling and education around a growing body of research that points to the critical connection between what we eat and how it not only impacts our physical health but our mental and emotional health, as well.” O’Neal will be joined in this work by specially trained nutritionists and other program navigators.
The Food and Thought program is supported by the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals’ Community Benefits Community Grant Program and the Essex County Community Foundation Behavioral Health Partnership Grant.
“We have been talking with our partners at Mass General Brigham and North Shore Physicians Group about other ways to focus on the critical food-thought intersection and are hoping to work more fully with both entities on this in the future,” said Valerie Parker Callahan, Director of Planning and Development at GLSS. Mass General Brigham is the primary funder of the overall Phoenix Food Hub initiative, providing a 5-year, $1.85 million community health grant to the program. Other funders include Element Care, Essex County Community Foundation, Point32Health Foundation, Alfred E. Chase Community Foundation, Charles H. Farnsworth Trust, the City of Lynn, and many private donors.
Phoenix Food Hub is located on the ground floor of GLSS’ office building located at 8 Silsbee Street in downtown Lynn. It serves people of all ages in and around the Lynn area—a one-stop shop where individuals and families at risk of nutrition insufficiency can access a variety of resource to help them better manage their overall health and well-being. To learn more, visit: https://phoenixfoodhub.org/
Phoenix Food Hub is open for walk-in hours Monday–Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Staff can be reached by contacting 781-599-0110 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.