BOSTON – Boston Medical Center, one of the greenest hospitals in the nation, has opened a second rooftop farm, Newmarket Farm, at 960 Massachusetts Ave., expanding access to fresh foods in the community and adding green space to the hospital campus. Through a partnership with Boston Area Gleaners, crops cultivated in the 4,915-square-foot grow space will be distributed to local non-profits and community centers twice per week during the growing season, addressing food insecurity and increasing access to essential fresh foods across Boston.   

Building on the success of Boston Medical Center’s first farm at 750 Albany St., which opened in 2017, Newmarket Farm triples the total grow space at BMC and quadruples the amount of produce BMC expects to grow annually. The expanded capacity from a second farm also allows BMC to share produce with community partners for the first time, while continuing to support the academic medical center’s food pantry and inpatient meal service. The new farm will specialize in growing vegetables, including collard greens, kale and arugula, as well as culturally relevant crops including Aji Dulce peppers, bok choy, and callaloo. 

The new farm, developed by Higher Ground Farm and Recover Green Roofs, advances Boston Medical Center Health System’s commitment to sustainability. The green space reduces heat-absorbing pavement in the community and slows storm water runoff impact, as plants directly collect and retain rainwater. The farm operates while reducing water waste through high-tech irrigation that waters the crops directly at the root.   

“Our rooftop farms increase green space in our community, reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint, and strengthen at-risk local food systems. We are proud to expand fresh food availability in the local community while adding more pathways to support critical clinical programs, like the Preventive Food Pantry, in our hospital,” said David Maffeo, Senior Director of Support Services at BMC. “The Newmarket Farm models how hospitals can further invest in the health of our communities while building environmentally resilient spaces.” 

“GrowBoston, the City of Boston’s Office of Urban Agriculture; Stop & Shop; and Citizens provided essential support that made BMC’s second rooftop farm possible,” said Bob Biggio, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability & Real Estate Officer at BMCHS. “Support from our government and philanthropic partners is critical for programs like these that fall outside of traditional medicine and insurance reimbursements.”  

“We are so pleased to partner with BMC to expand green infrastructure and rooftop farming in our city,” said Shani Fletcher, Director of GrowBoston. “We believe rooftop farms are a creative and impactful way to address food insecurity in our communities when space is so limited on the ground.” 

“We’re very proud to support BMC’s efforts to provide critical access to fresh, healthy food to the city’s residents in need – and to help expand capacity with this new farm in order to meet the increased need,” said Gordon Reid, President of Stop & Shop. “We’re particularly keen on the hospital’s efforts to cultivate crops that are culturally relevant as Stop & Shop has made significant efforts to increase our assortment of multicultural products to better meet the needs of our diverse customers at our neighboring South Bay Plaza store – and at many other stores across our footprint.” 

BMCHS deeply understands that the local environment is intrinsic to supporting the overall health and wellbeing in our communities. BMCHS's environmental stewardship is helping to dismantle structural barriers, so our communities can access environmental benefits that have often been unavailable to historically disinvested areas. 

About Boston Medical Center 

Boston Medical Center models a new kind of excellence in healthcare, where innovative and equitable care empowers all patients to thrive. We combine world-class clinicians and cutting-edge treatments with compassionate, quality care that extends beyond our walls. As an award-winning health equity leader, our diverse clinicians and staff interrogate racial disparities in care and partner with our community to dismantle systemic inequities. And as a national leader in research and the teaching affiliate for Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, we’re driving the future of care. 

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