Go Fresh Emergency Food Distribution Program
With the pandemic, the Go Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market project has pivoted to providing free fresh produce boxes to older adults at housing and senior center locations in Springfield. Funded by the Trinity Health Transforming Communities Initiative, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Beveridge Family Foundation and Health New England, the Go Fresh Emergency Food Distribution program is a collaboration with Wellspring Cooperative which enabled us to quickly and safely get this program up and running by providing a location to store and sort the produce.  Additional community partners include Mass Senior Action Springfield Chapter, Baystate Geriatrics House Calls Program and the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma program. The project will deliver produce boxes twice a month for 2 months to 200 older adults in Springfield. In addition, they will receive a social isolation kit including toiletries, masks and gloves, arts and crafts and cognitive puzzles/games.
Baystate Geriatrics reports that one team member commented that it brought tears to her eyes when one of her patients blew kisses of thanks from her doorway. ​ The next day, another patient called the office and left the following message, " I just called to thank you guys. You came to my house and left me some vegetables. And I appreciate that. Thank you for caring, thank you guys" ​
We are currently working on plans to reopen the Go Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market later this season. For more information, contact Samantha Hamilton, Live Well Springfield Manager, .
Springfield Healthy Homes
COVID Housing and Unemployment Questions Answered
On May 6, the Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative (SHHC) and Arise for Social Justice held a Facebook Live Event on Housing and Health: What You Need to Know During COVID-19 . Their guest speakers were Jane Edmonstone and Claudia Quintero from Community Legal Aid presenting and addressing questions on everything from evictions on subsidized or private housing to unemployment. 
Data Update
COVID-19 in Western Massachusetts
As of May 11, 2020, there were 6,225 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Western Massachusetts (78,462 statewide) and 583 COVID-19 deaths in Western Massachusetts (5,108 statewide).

As stated in previous newsletters, caution should be exercised when interpreting COVID-19. For example, the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases is dependent upon who is tested and not necessarily reflective of the distribution of COVID-19 in the general population. Testing has been limited thus far. Because many people who have the disease are asymptomatic and have not been tested, prevalence of people testing positive is unlikely to reflect the prevalence in communities. As testing and contact tracing increase, we will have a better understanding of impacts on communities and populations, and more targeted actions can take place to mitigate spread and support those who are disproportionately impacted.
Advocacy Update
Data Collection and Equity
At the end of April, the PHIWM signed on to a letter from the Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus and Equity to Senate President Karen Spilka with recommendation to strengthen H4672 , An Act Addressing COVID-19 Data Collection and Disparities . On 5/11/2020 the Senate approved a bill ( S.2695 ) with several amendments that address many of the Task Force’s recommendations, including a mandate requiring reporting about what the state is doing to address any inequities revealed in the COVID-19 data.

Learn more about PHIWM COVID-19 related advocacy .
Support Decarceration of Vulnerable Populations
People who are confined to prisons and jails are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, as there is no ability for individuals to practice physical distancing in cells, bunks and common areas and hygiene materials are in short supply. Immediate measures must be taken to decarcerate in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19​ and save lives. Many incarcerated people are elderly and have medical conditions that put them at serious risk of COVID-19. Rep Sabadosa has filed legislation ( H.4652 ) asking for people who pose no immediate physical threat to the community be released. For more information about legislation, read this  Fact Sheet . Although a hearing was held last week, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary is still accepting written testimony. You can use this  template letter with brief instructions , including where to send it. Feel free to personalize the letter. If you have questions, please email  Kim Gilhuly .
Update Your Organization's Resources on 413Cares
Thank You, UMASS!
Thanks to the UMass Amherst Department of Theater Costume Shop for the donation of 55 reusable cloth masks for the PHIWM staff and the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program.These cloth masks will be distributed to asthma patients along with cleaning supplies. In addition, staff making deliveries for the Go Fresh Emergency Food Distribution Program and the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program will also get masks.
COVID-19 Community Resource Updates
Grab and Go Lunches for Older Adults
GSSSI's Grab'n Go program is designed to meet the nutritional needs of individuals over the age of 60, who are mobile, who wish to remain independent, maintain social distancing and pick up a delicious, healthy lunch!  This program was launched in response to the needs of older adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, those who no longer attend traditional senior dining programs, those limiting trips to supermarkets and those faced with food insecurity challenges. Learn more about food resources.
Get Your Stimulus Check Quicker by Opening a Bank Account
Since the start of this crisis, the FDIC has been working to develop resources that will make it easier for consumers without a bank account to find a bank that can open an account online without going into a branch. They have developed a new webpage which was launched last week dedicated to helping consumers get the information they need to receive economic impact payment (stimulus check) electronically. 
Blink a light outside your home, or a light that can be seen by others outside for 1 minute. The campaign will run until Governor Baker reverses our state of emergency (as the days grow longer we'll be in touch to push back the time.) Thank you for spreading the light and hope. 
Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Prevention is Key!
Clean AND disinfect  frequently touched surfaces  daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.