Governor-elect Maura Healey paid a visit to Cape Cod in January, preparing meals for hungry residents and fielding questions on both food insecurity and the housing crisis.
“We need to do everything that we can to support housing and housing production. You’re going to hear us talk a lot about it,” she said, referring to her new administration.
Healey made these comments during a visit with Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll to the Family Table Collaborative in South Yarmouth to pitch in during a food distribution day. The visit was part of a state-wide tour before their inauguration Jan. 5. Along with dozens of other volunteers, Healey and Driscoll helped serve chicken, rice and veggies into hundreds of to-go containers destined for places like Angel House, a Housing Assistance family shelter that received 40 meals prepared that day.
“We wanted to make a point of showing the kind of administration we’re going to be,” Healey said. “We’re going to be an administration that cares about every single region of the state and that includes the Cape and Islands.”
Paula Mallard, Housing Assistance vice president of homeless services, said the gesture was much appreciated at the Hyannis shelter.
“Here’s a big thank you from the families at Angel House,” she said.
The Family Table Collaborative (FTC) distributes prepared meals directly to individuals and families across Cape Cod. Chef and entrepreneur Jeni Wheeler and marketing executive and entrepreneur Harry Henry co-founded FTC as a rapid-response program to help families and seniors struggling with food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But nutritional security on Cape Cod is an ongoing crisis, and the organization has since evolved to include working to end hunger and improve nutritional security by breaking down the barriers of access to prepared meals and providing education on food nutrition and preparation. FTC has prepared and distributed more than 110,000 free meals to Cape Codders since its founding in 2020.
“We greatly appreciate the Family Table Collaborative’s dedication to our community and their support of our organization,” said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta, who co-chaired Healey’s Affordable, Abundant Housing Transition Committee. “Food insecurity and lack of housing are problems individuals and families often face at the same time. We’re proud to partner with FTC.”
These two issues were top questions when Healey spoke to the press after preparing meals.
“The Cape has its challenges. We know there are dire needs when it comes to housing,” she said. “It’s out of control and out of reach for too many. Our businesses are not going to be able to survive unless they can house a workforce.”
Healey will be the first Massachusetts governor to have a cabinet-level Secretary of Housing, and is expected to announce her choice to fill the position soon.
“This is a time we have to come together and do some things that need hard work,” she said. “When it comes to housing, we really need to have people pitch in.”