Task Force works to bring healthy food to the Mason Square area

Federal health officials said Mason Square is a "food desert"

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Neighbors gathered at the Rebecca Johnson School in Springfield to talk about the possibility of building a grocery store and increasing access to healthy foods in Mason Square.

Right now, if you live in this neighborhood, you’re at least two miles away from a grocery store that sells a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and meat. According to some federal health officials, Mason Square is a “food desert.”

An organization called Develop Springfield has been eyeing a lot at Walnut, Oak and Union Streets as a potential site, but the challenge is finding an operator who’s willing to develop the site.

Wanda Givens of the Mason Square Health Task Force told 22News, “We want to look at and explore other opportunities, other alternatives so maybe it’s not a full-line grocery store. Maybe we continue to work with corner stores and beef them up.”

Givens added that most of the people have to take multiple buses to the closest grocery store, but even then, you can only bring three bags onto a PVTA bus.

Click Here to read more about this healthy food initiative.

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