National Nutrition Month

  • March 6, 2024

Join Whittier Street Health Center in celebrating National Nutrition Month.  Diet and nutrition are inextricably linked to bodily function, fitness and overall health.  It is imperative to be conscious of what we consume daily as it impacts performance throughout the day. The Journal of American Medical Association found that more that 50% of deaths from stroke, heart ailments and type II diabetes were correlated with poor nutrition.

To reduce risk of diet related diseases it is important to practice healthy habit such as:

  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Incorporating fruits and vegetables into diet
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Replacing sugary drinks with water
  • Replacing processed foods with whole foods
  • Minimizing consumption of saturated fats

Food Access Programs

While practicing healthy habits is beneficial to wellbeing, factors such as food insecurity, poverty and access to supermarkets make it difficult for many. Often times, cheap unhealthy foods from fast food outlets and convenience stores are more easily available than fresh ingredients. Processed foods far outnumber fresh fruit and vegetables.

To respond to the high level of food insecurity and the service area as a food desert, Whittier recently began screening our patients for food insecurity and refer almost half our patients to food access programs including:

  • WIC Nutrition Program: We have a WIC office on-site at our Tremont Street Center and WIC staff visit Whittier @Quincy Commons twice per week
  • Fairfoods, a food recovery program: Throughout the year, patients can obtain a large bag of produce for only $2, weekly.
  • WSHC Community Garden: On Thursdays throughout the growing season, patients may attend our Garden Club from 10-11 a.m. and receive a free bag of freshly harvested produce.
  • Teaching Kitchen: a teaching kitchen is located on the second floor next to Whittier’s Community Education Room and Group Rooms so registered dieticians can host cooking classes and cooking demonstrations for patients in all of our Wellness Programs, Healthy Weight and Chronic Disease Management programs.
  • A Fresh Truck mobile market comes to Whittier from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. They accept food stamp/EBT benefits, and offer immediate reimbursement.
  • Food Pantry: The goal of our Food Pantry program, which was launched in 2018, is to provide a reliable and accessible food and nutrition services that decreases food insecurity, promotes healthy diet and healthy families. Patients during their doctor’s visit will be screened for referral to the EFP, using the BMC THRIVE tool. Patients who are determined to be eligible will receive a Prescription for Groceries and are limited to receive food once monthly. Each bag will include groceries with items from each food group and meet USDA standards. Families will also receive information on nutrition, as well as on neighborhood Food Banks.

Registered Dieticians

Additionally, Whittier’s team of registered dietitians (RDs) offer comprehensive nutritional assessments and counseling to meet each individual’s nutritional needs. With special attention to maintaining overall health and managing health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, the RDs work closely with patients, families and the team of health care providers to develop a personalized nutrition plan for each patient.

To request an appointment, call 617-427-1000 or go to

For more information regarding Food Access programs visit

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).