Fallon Health invests $200K to address SDOH needs

Grants will support those struggling with food insecurity and other social determinants of health that impact older adults

Worcester, Mass., October 31, 2023 ― Fallon Health today announced it is providing $200,000 in grants to 15 community-based organizations across its Massachusetts service area. The funding will accelerate actions that lead to improved outcomes in two critical focus areas: food and nutrition security and health initiatives that support older adults living independently.

The grants are part of the not-for-profit health care services organization’s Community Impact Grants program. Launched in 2004, the program was developed to address barriers to health care including social determinants of health (SDOH). To date, Fallon Health has invested approximately $2,375,000 through the program.

The newest round of grants will be awarded to programs across Fallon Health’s key service areas with a particular focus on Berkshire, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties. The awards ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 per organization. Recipients include:

  • Great Barrington-based Berkshire Bounty for its food purchase program. 
  • Acton-based Boston Area Gleaners for its food access program.
  • Lowell-based Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell for its home safety for elders and access to culturally relevant nutrition programs.
  • North Grafton- based Community Harvest Project for its food insecurity program.
  • Sharon-based Digger Foods for its mobile farmer’s market.
  • Worcester-based Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance for its elder home repair and maintenance program.
  • Worcester-based Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc. for expansion of its Spanish Memory Café.
  • Arlington-based Food Link, Inc. for its program to improve access to food for older adults.  
  • Newton-based Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Inc. for its food rescue and hunger relief efforts in Worcester County and Hampden County
  • Lowell-based Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc. for its mobile pantry.
  • Lowell-based Mill City Grows for its fresh food to your door program.
  • Fitchburg-based Making Opportunity Count for its elder nutrition services.
  • Lawrence-based Neighbors in Need for its food pantries.
  • Worcester-based Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA for its programs that support elders.
  • Springfield-based The Salvation Army for its emergency food pantry and mobile feeding initiative.

About 80 to 90% of health outcomes are due to social, behavioral, and economic factors. Fallon Health is committed to maintaining health equity as a strategic priority. Its health equity program works to address social drivers of health in which Fallon Health can have the most direct impact.

“We have a responsibility to the communities we serve to enable them as they navigate the complexities of health care due to barriers including the social determinants of health,” said Richard Burke, President and CEO of Fallon Health. “The Community Impact Grants will help provide valuable resources at a grass roots level to those who need it most. We applaud our partners for the important work they are doing which is also closely aligned with Fallon Health’s mission.”

In Massachusetts today, one in 12 people face hunger. Mounting research from hunger organizations including Feeding America shows nutrition plays an important role in health with food insecurity linked to diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Family members in food-insecure homes are also more likely to struggle with psychological and behavioral health issues.

As the pandemic demonstrated, finding ways to keep older adults living independently at home or in their communities where they are safest is both vital and challenging. Health initiatives that support older adults aging in place by providing access to care (including behavioral health resources), and resources to address safety issues in the home or community, issues of isolation, of housing instability, or access to food and utilities have had demonstrated results.


Melissa Randall
Director, Corporate Communications
Fallon Health

About Fallon Health
Fallon Health is a company that cares. We prioritize our members—always—making sure they get the care they need and deserve. Founded in 1977, Fallon Health delivers equitable, high-quality coordinated care and is continually rated among the nation’s top health plans for member experience, service, and clinical quality. Today, guided by our mission of improving health and inspiring hope, we strive to be the leading provider of government-sponsored health insurance programs—including Medicare, Medicaid, and PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).