Alanna Mallon is a first term Cambridge City Councillor, founder of the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, and the K-12 Strategic Lead at Food for Free, a Cambridge based nonprofit that increases access to fresh, healthy food to food insecure residents in the Greater Boston area.
In 2013, Alanna became aware that food insecurity was a barrier to academic success for many students in the Cambridge Public School system. She founded the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, growing the program from serving 15 students to almost 600 students, to both address the needs of food-insecure students and connect their families to other vital community resources. She then served as the Education Liaison to Cambridge Mayor David Maher in 2015-2016. Alanna began working at Food for Free in 2016, focusing closely on issues of food insecurity in Cambridge for students and various vulnerable populations in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area.
Since becoming a City Councillor in 2018, Alanna has not only worked to increase food security in Cambridge, but has also led initiatives to foster the Arts, target safe and complete streets, develop affordable housing, and grow small business support. She championed anti-poverty initiatives such as Children’s Savings Accounts, expanded access to free summer food sites, and ensured free, hot breakfast every day for all Cambridge Public School students regardless of family income. She led the initiative to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) in Central Square to make it cleaner, safer, and more welcoming to residents and visitors. Alanna also chaired the Mayor’s Arts Task Force, which has led to millions of dollars in investment in Cambridge’s Arts community.
Alanna sponsored innovative strategies to support retail and small local businesses, such as expanding Small Business Saturday, reducing unnecessary small business fees, and bringing together three key city departments that support the local economy: CDD’s Economic Development Division, the Cambridge Office of Tourism, and the Arts Council. She believes that each of these offices are a key support of the “three-legged stool” that keeps our economy strong and healthy, wants to address small business needs through meaningful collaboration.
Alanna advocated for the re-establishment of the Police Cadet Program that will help diversify the Cambridge Police Department while expanding workforce pathways for opportunity youth. She also secured $2M investment in upgrading our firehouses, which led to a further $30M in capital improvements to firehouses in this year’s budget. Alanna’s platform centers on economic and workforce development, culture and the Arts, sustainable and affordable development, and equity. She believes that human services should be delivered in a humane way, and focuses on the sometimes invisible needs of Cambridge residents.
Alanna was born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts and has lived in Cambridge for the past 15 years. Alanna and her husband have two children, a sixth and ninth grader, whom have been enrolled in the Cambridge Public School system since they were in junior kindergarten.
Alanna with her husband Bob, her 11 year old daughter and 14 year old son.