The Mattapan community has only one grocery store addressed with a Mattapan zipcode that serves all 39,000 residents. The grocery store does not sell organic foods and is sometimes priced high, making foods inaccessible and unaffordable for residents. The community has a total of 27 fast food restaurants, which include chains, sub shops, and Caribbean cuisine. Mattapan residents lack physical activity despite the abundance of natural green spaces and trails. Most residents are unaware of the health and wellness resources Mattapan has to offer. According to an annual report by the Boston Public Health Commission, Mattapan continues to have one of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension at 33%, 31%, and 17% respectively. 31% of youth engage in at least 60 minutes/day in physical activity, 33% of adults are obese compared to the Boson average of 22%, 49% of elders have diabetes compared to the 32% in Boston, and 29% of adults ate vegetables less than once per day.
MFFC focuses on food access, physical activity, youth development, utilizing our parks, gardens, and rivers (built environment), and empowering residents to advocate for the changes they seek by employing or providing stipends to lead our community projects, volunteering, bringing awareness to the challenges that our community holds, and providing educational guest speakers at our monthly community meetings. Additionally, we have a year round youth group focused on these activities. Our youth group also lead activities of their own such as Mattapan on Wheels and the youth-led farm stand.
Lastly our leadership team and staff reflect the community of Mattapan. We are a group of African American/Caribbean women who have expertise in nonprofit management, organizing, nutrition and diet, family engagement, and child and youth development and live in Mattapan, Dorchester, and Hyde Park.