News and Events


Here is what's happening at Phoenix Food Hub


On Thursday November 9, we celebrated one year of programs at the Phoenix Food Hub!

Thank you to all who joined us and to all our guest speakers:

Kathy Burns, Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) CEO, and Nelson Chang, GLSS Board of Directors President, made welcoming remarks

Mayor Jared Nicholson, City of Lynn, delivered a congratulatory message

Adriene Worthington, Executive Office of Elder Affairs Director of Nutrition Services, presented a congratulatory citation to the Lynn Food Policy Council

Norris Guscott, City of Lynn Public Health Coordinator & Food Policy Council Leader, accepted the EOEA citation

Valerie Parker Callahan, GLSS Director of Planning and Development, presented a one-year retrospective of Phoenix Food Hub

Tina McLoughlin, Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital, Director of Community Health, announced the recipients of the Community Grant Awards

Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, Raw Art Works Executive Director, introduced the young artists in the Good 2 Go program who created 8 murals for the Phoenix space

Kathy Burns Nelson Chang Jarod Nicholson Adriene Worthington 

Norris Guscott Valerie Parker Callahan Tina mc Loughlin Rosario Ubiera-Minaya

PFH one year celebration Raw Art Works artists

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2023 Phoenix Food Hub Community Grants Program. These grant awards went to 10 local organizations whose proposed projects support the reduction of food insecurity in Lynn. Funding for these grants is part of a generous award from Mass General Brigham to the Phoenix Food Hub. Recipient organizations and summaries of program proposals are:

Catholic Charities
Program - Lynn Food Pantry
Grant will support the purchase and installation of permanent shelving for the Lynn Food Pantry, which will increase their capacity to store food on site and help meet the increasing demand for emergency food in Lynn.

Demakes Family YMCA
Program - Food, Nutrition & Garden Program
The YMCA serves healthy meals and snacks to children and teens in need and summer programs teaching gardening skills. Grant will support staffing and supplies to provide access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and teach gardening skills to children and teens.

Highlands Coalition
Program - Food Insecurity and Health Issues
Grant will support the refurbishment and creation of more community garden beds, distribution of vegetables, and help staff the organization.

Lynn Community Health Center
Program - Hunger Assistance Program
Grant will purchase and supply supermarket gift cards to be distributed to provide support to incoming refugee families with children until other community and government services food assistance resources can be obtained.

Lynn Senior Center
Program - Senior Food Insecurity
Grant will be used to address food insecurity for seniors by providing food serving equipment and hot meals.

My Brothers Table
Program - Teen Parent Meal Program
Grant will support this food distribution and outreach program, which will provide a healthy, culturally appropriate weekly food delivery to households of the most at-risk mothers in Lynn, as they work towards graduating high school under difficult circumstances.

New Lynn Coalition
Program - Food Delivery Program
Delivers food to more than 750+ households. Grant will help fund staff for the program.

The Food Project
Program - Community Cooking Classes
Grant will support cooking classes that will focus on using locally available produce to make delicious, nutritious dishes that are relevant to some of the major cultural groups in Lynn. Drawing from the public and from families from the Kipp Academy, the Food Project plans to hold 15 cooking classes, with 15 attendees at each session this fall and winter.

The Open Door/Cape Ann Food Pantry Inc.
Program - Mobile Market Farmers Truck for North Shore Community College - Lynn Campus
Grant will support the free distribution of food through the Open Door’s Mobile Market Farmers’ Truck to the staff and students at North Shore Community College’s Lynn Campus. Participating clients can choose up to 25 pounds of fresh produce for free each visit.

The Salem Pantry
Program - General Operation to Support Lynn Households
The Salem Food Pantry serves Lynn Residents who visit the food pantry an average of 2.5 times per month. Grant will help support food distribution to these Lynn residents.


Lynn Community Television covered the event and here is a link to a short segment on the LCTV website:

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Avoid the Post-Meal Crash This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with loved ones and enjoying a meal in gratitude with one another. It may involve old family recipes handed down through generations, or it may involve trying new recipes to add a modern flair to old traditions. Whatever kind of meal you enjoy on Thanksgiving, you may find yourself feeling bloated, tired or edgy afterwards. There are several reasons for this, including the kinds of foods we tend to eat during the holidays, and the amounts of them — which can be more than twice what we would normally eat in one sitting! Continue reading for more information about how our bodies respond to foods rich in calories, fats and carbohydrates, and for some tips on how to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without the unpleasant after-effects!

Size (of the meal) Matters.
When we eat a large meal, our stomachs must expand to handle the extra content. This can lead to feelings of physi-cal discomfort. Then the body begins to digest the foods, and those high in starches get converted into glucose (sugar), leading to spikes and eventual drops in glucose levels. This can lead to an initial energy boost, followed by a mood and energy “crash” and feelings of bloating, heartburn and even headaches. Cholesterol markers, blood pressure and fluid retention may also increase as your body processes fats and salt. Keeping the size of your meal in check can go a long way toward avoiding these problems.

Avoid the sugar rush (and crash).
The sugar high is all fun and games until the resulting “crash” affects the quality of your (holi)day. The term re-fers to a sudden drop in energy levels after consuming large amounts of carbohydrates (especially simple carbohydrates, such as desserts). Alt-hough the human body needs sugar, it also needs the amount of sugar to remain at a consistent level. When the body has more sugar than it’s used to, it rapidly produces insulin in an attempt to keep the levels consistent. This causes blood glucose to decrease, resulting in a sudden drop in ener-gy levels. This is known as hypoglycemia (a.k.a. a sugar crash). Common symptoms include fatigue, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, shaki-ness. For people with diabetes, the symptoms can be more severe such as loss of consciousness, seizure or coma.

5 tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving
1. Eat breakfast When you skip meals, by the time dinner rolls around, you’re so hungry that you end up overeating and feeling uncom-fortable.
2. Stay Hydrated Water will help flush out excess sodium from your body and alleviate bloating. Drinking enough water can also help you feel more alert and energized.
3. Try a Healthy New Recipe Adding a big salad or veggie-filled soup is another way to broaden the nutrient profile of your selections.
4. Slow Down and Savor Just by eating slower, you'll consume fewer calories.
5. Start an Active Family Tradition When the Thanksgiving feast is over, adding a walk to your family tradition can be a great way to close out the holiday.

The Food and Thought Program works to promote awareness and provide short term counselling around the important link be-tween. nutrition and emotional health. For more information or for a referral to the program, please contact the Food and Thought Program at 781-599-0110.

This work is supported by the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital Community Benefits Community Grant Program and the Essex County Community Foundation Behavioral Health Partnership Grant.

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Shorter Days Could Impact Your Mental Health Vitamin D is as vital for mental health as it is essential for physical health. During fall and winter months, when days are shorter, many people experience depression-like symptoms. This is believed to be at least partly due to lack of sun exposure—and lack of Vitamin D absorption into the skin. Research has shown that vitamin D, which is found in some foods and in the ultraviolet light from the sun, may play an important role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk of depression. According to the National Institutes of Health website, those groups who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, adolescents, obese individuals, and those with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. These are the same groups that have also been reported to be at risk for depression.

Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D3. The best sources are the flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils. Smaller amounts are found in egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. Certain mushrooms contain some vitamin D2; in addition some commercially sold mushrooms contain higher amounts of D2 due to intentionally being exposed to high amounts of ultraviolet light. Many foods and supplements are fortified with vitamin D like dairy prod-ucts and cereals.

Depression, SAD and Diet
Seasonal depression, more formally known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a common mood disorder characterized by low energy, hope-lessness, difficulty concentrating, and sleep problems that coincide with the change in seasons, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The cause of SAD is likely multifactorial, and may include imbal-ances in mood-regulating brain chemicals, as well as a lack of vitamin D (from less sunlight), and an overproduction of the sleep-regulating hor-mone melatonin.

The 10 Best Foods to Soothe Seasonal Depression:
1. Salmon and Rainbow Trout
2. Berries
3. Whole grain bread + protein
4. Green, black or white tea
5. Green leafy vegetables
6. Protein
7. Crab
8. Whole grain pasta
9. Dark Chocolate
10. Beans

The Food and Thought Program works to promote awareness and provide short term counselling around the important link be-tween. nutrition and emotional health. For more information or for a referral to the program, please contact the Food and Thought Program at 781-599-0110.

This work is supported by the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital Community Benefits Community Grant Program and the Essex County Community Foundation Behavioral Health Partnership Grant.

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Feeling tired? Low energy? Unmotivated? It could be your diet! 

There are a lot of things that can cause fatigue; a poor night’s sleep or not enough sleep, stress, even some health conditions. But what we eat also plays an important role in our energy level - in both positive and negative ways. Because the body is fueled by the foods that we eat it is important to feed it the best foods possible, and to avoid those that leave us feeling sluggish, tired and unable to concentrate. Focus on whole foods and avoid processed foods whenever possible. Below is a list of some of the best—and worst—foods for optimum cognitive health.

What are Processed Foods and How Do They Effect Emotional Health?
Most food needs some degree of processing, and not all processed foods are bad for the body. However, chemically processed foods, also called ultra-processed foods, tend to be high in sugar, artificial ingredients, re-fined carbohydrates, and trans fats. Because of this, they are a major contributor to obesity and illness around the world, and are increasingly being linked to impaired brain health, including mood disorders and cognitive decline.
In recent decades, ultra-processed food intake has in-creased dramatically worldwide. These foods now ac-count for 25-60% of a person’s daily caloric intake throughout much of the world.
These ultra-processed foods are sometimes called “cosmetic” foods, as compared with whole foods. Some examples of ultra-processed foods include:: frozen or ready meals, baked goods—including pizza, cakes, and pastries, packaged breads, processed cheese products, breakfast cereals, crackers and chips, candy and ice cream, instant noodles and soups, reconstituted meats, such as sausages, nuggets, fish fingers, processed ham, sodas and other sweetened drinks.

Foods to Eat More Of

  • Avocado
  • Kidney beans
  • Almonds
  • Banana
  • Spinach
  • Dates
  • Brown rice

Foods to Avoid

  • Artificially sweetened foods and beverages
  • White bread
  • Baked goods
  • High caffeine drinks
  • Processed and/or cured meats (such as sausage, bacon and salami)

Rule of Thumb — Read your labels. The fewer ingredients the better! If there is an ingredient listed that your grandmother would not recognize, AVOID THAT FOOD!

Change can be difficult. Start by adding a few healthier food choices to your daily and weekly meal plans. Then slowly add more as you begin to remove some of the less healthy choices. And be patient with yourself. Change takes time. But your body—and your brain—will thank you for it

This work is supported by the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital Community Benefits Community Grant Program and the Essex County Community Foundation Behavioral Health Partnership Grant.

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Why Diet Matters: Gut Health and Mood

The gastrointestinal tract (gut) is sensitive to emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness, and joy which can trigger physical symptoms .This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person's intestinal distress can be either the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. This connection is so strong that many consider the gut the “second brain!”

Physical Symptoms of Depression:
• Vague aches and pain
• Chronic joint , limb or back pain
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Tiredness
• Sleep disturbances
• Appetite changes.

Emotional Symptoms of Depression:
• On-going low mood or sadness
• Feeling hopeless or helpless
• Having low self-esteem
• Feeling tearful
• Feeling irritable and intolerant of others.
• Low motivation

1. Dark leafy greens
2. Eggs
3. Lentils
4. Turkey
5. Fatty fish
6. Avocados
7. Chia Seeds
8. Fermented Foods
9. Almonds
10. Bell Peppers
Source: https://www.culinarynutrition.commood-boosting-foods/


This work is supported by the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital Community Benefits Community Grant Program and the Essex County Community Foundation Behavioral Health Partnership Grant.