Helping feed hard-hit transgender communities in Massachusetts

Transgender residents living in Massachusetts, particularly people of color, have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They face an unemployment rate more than three times the general population, homelessness and a lack of food, said Chastity Bowick, CEO of the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts.

When Lawrence Vinson learned about the crisis, he jumped in to help.

Vinson, a community impact director for the American Heart Association in Boston, contacted an organization called About Fresh to inquire about food deliveries.

He was familiar with About Fresh because it had won a grant from the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Fund, which helps support health-focused solutions from people or organizations in communities.

About Fresh — which already had been providing fresh produce to households with support from the city of Boston — agreed to partner with the Transgender Emergency Fund to provide food boxes to their clients.

More than 200 boxes were delivered throughout Greater Boston in May and June 2020.

“Being able to provide critical necessities to a community that has been deprived of so much was very moving and motivational for me and the volunteers who assisted in delivering these boxes,” Bowick said.

Funding for the program ran out by July, and now the American Heart Association is exploring other possibilities to keep the deliveries coming.

If you’d like to support this program, contact Lawrence Vinson at