Print newsletter spring 2017

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Introducing Our Youth Crew Supervisors

the end of June, the summer season kicks off for what will grow into 100 young people. We are pleased to introduce you to this summer’s youth crew leaders (photos in order of quotes)! Manny Encarnacion: “A highlight of last summer was being able to see the transformation of the young people through their Seed Crew experience. I’m looking forward to working with such amazing, talented, smart, diligent, young people.” Jenn Coverdale: “I’m looking forward to garlic scapes! Also the inevitable hilarious moments that will keep our team ‘flowing’ out on the farm. The Food Project’s young people challenge me to slow down and

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remember that JOY is part of a job well done. They also challenge me to pop out of my comfort bubble to be louder and braver in expressing myself, and more thoughtful and brave at listening to others.” Ludia Modi: “A highlight of last summer was witnessing a weeding contest between youth and staff. I witnessed youth cheering and celebrating each other and finding love and fun in the work we do. The young people challenge me to change my perspective and find a passion in everything that I dive into.” Angel Araiza: “I’m inspired by random acts of kindness in a world that often feels harsh. A highlight of last summer was teaching youth how

to make salsa using veggies from the farm.” Madison Beehler: “I’m inspired by the capacity of the body to accomplish work. It’s amazing to realize how strong you are and continue to push the expectations you or society has for you. In growing food, I learn how to welcome failure. On the farm, I am always learning as I move through a task.” Chavella Lee: “I’m looking forward to being challenged this summer— physically and mentally. In growing food, I learn to respect the cycle of life. I have been able to appreciate the pounds of produce because I have interacted with them as small seedlings. “

Salad Days in Lynn Public Schools

new this year, The Food Project

is excited to announce the expansion of our Salad Days partnership with the Lynn Public Schools. This spring, Root Crew and Dirt Crew built raised-bed gardens at five elementary schools in the city! Following a model started by Gloucester’s Backyard Growers, The Food Project has been working with the Lynn school system to expand Salad Days, with the goal of building a garden at every elementary school in the city. Salad Days is a hands-on opportunity for every third grader to plant lettuce seeds, tend the garden,

students who planted lettuce in the spring in lynn:


watch their plants come to life, and, six weeks later, harvest the greens to eat. This structure ties into classroom curriculum on nutrition that might otherwise feel uninteresting or abstract while providing young people a way to connect with their food. The project began last year with The Food Project’s FoodCorps

AmeriCorps Service Member, Jenn Coverdale, running Salad Days for the first time at Ford, Ingalls, and Callahan Elementary Schools. This year, The Food Project met with Superintendent Catherine Latham, who, by the end of the meeting, felt that the Salad Days model was a unique and effective way to better involve students in learning about healthy eating and where their food comes from. She eventually

hopes to have every third grader in the district participate. Jenn shares, “There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from staff, administrators, and students for this simple ‘seed to fork’ experience.” A few of last year’s third grade Salad Days participants excitedly chimed in, “I didn’t even like salad before but today I ate five bowls,” and “I can’t believe I grew this myself!” Salad Days is a perfect alignment of youth, food, and community. It is a unique way for The Food Project to advance our vision of making healthy food available to everyone. Salad Days not only introduces the concepts of garden-fresh food to many students, it also inspires a love of fresh veggies and gardening, while creating healthy eating habits that we hope will last a lifetime. It is only through your ongoing support that we can continue to build innovative programs like this throughout Lynn and the other communities we work with.

Look Inside: Big Shindig raises $375,000!

Ringing in the 26th Season

(at left) Youth Speakers, Evan O., 18, Dorchester, Root Crew peer leader and Caroline O., 16, Lynn, Dirt Crew assistant crew leader

(above) Leadership Awardee, Leah Penniman, Seed Crew ‘96, and co-director of Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, NY

On April 26, 350 members of our extended family came together to celebrate The Food Project’s achievements developing youth leaders, creating a sustainable food system, and ensuring that everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. With garden beds built inside the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, incredible food at every turn, and standing ovationworthy speakers, the soldout Big Shindig was a huge success. Because of your generous support, the Big Shindig raised more than $375,000! This will directly support the young people of Seed Crew, Dirt Crew, and

Root Crew as they continue to grow food on our urban and suburban farms.

McQuillan and the dozens of other sponsors who supported the Big Shindig this year (see full list of sponsors from this year’s event on the right). Thank you to all of you who participated as attendees, committee members, and volunteers in making the Big Shindig a successful event— and to those of you who support us throughout the year! Check out our online photo album – Leah Penniman, for fun pictures from the evening at https:// Leadership Awardee and Seed Crew ’96 shindig.thefoodproject. This event would not have been org/2017-photos/. We are excited for possible without presenting sponsors next year and hope to see you at the Bank of America and Linda and Bill 2018 Big Shindig!

“Our vision is to rewrite the script so that all of us—regardless of race, of creed, of economic status—have agency, and decision-making, and power in the food system.”

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Youth. Food. Community.

Thank You to the Big Shindig 2017 Sponsors PRESENTING SPONSORS Linda and Bill McQuillan

STEWARDS OF THE LAND Gourmet Caterers Reebok


Preble Jaques and Jessica Shattuck Anmol Mehra The Osprey Foundation Sonesta International Hotels Corporation


Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management Balzer-Bellinger, Sue Farrell, Manion, and Reville-Joyal Boston Urban Partners Annalisa and Dino Di Palma Fresh Pond Capital and its parent company Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, LLC Sarah and Bob Gould Greenberg Traurig, LLP Jordan and Julie Hitch Stacey and Larry Lucchino David Mendels and Leila Yassa Andy and Lisa Mims New England Biolabs, Inc. Jill and John Preotle Chuck and Judy Hurley Riemenschneider Carolyn Zern

Summer Institute 2017 August 3 – 5

Folsom Street Community Garden Presented Award Congratulations

to the Folsom Street Community Garden which was recently named, “Rookie Garden of the Year,” at The Trustees of Reservations 42nd Gardeners’ Gathering! Folsom Community Garden Committee members Tracye Booth and Jose Rodriguez, and The Food Project’s Jerel Ferguson were on hand to accept the award from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development Chief Sheila Dillon, and The Trustees for this Dudley neighborhood communitycontrolled land project. When we were first made aware of the Folsom Street land by neighbors in 2016, this now beautiful community garden was an abandoned lot filled with weeds and trash. We partnered with Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), COG Design, and

Join us to learn, grow, and connect with your peers from across the country and the world.

Boston city officials to secure the land and make this garden grow. Over several months, the space came to life through the hard work of dozens of neighbors, community members, and our Root Crew. With the first summer of growing food completed, the Folsom Street garden is a true success story that has positively impacted residents, increased food production, and demonstrated what strong neighborhood involvement can achieve.

The three-day Institute is packed with activities, workshops, and engaging conversation that will teach you about The Food Project’s youth development and sustainable agriculture models, food justice initiatives, and how to create more food secure communities. The Institute includes both engaging classroom training and on-farm learning during the dynamic summer season.

register now! more info at:

The Food Project 3

J.’s Corner On May 16th, I had the opportunity to join with colleagues from the Conservation Law Foundation, the Urban Farm Institute, and Nuestras Raices to testify at the State House on the merits of an urban agriculture tax incentive bill (S.1532/H.3338). If enacted, this legislation would make it possible for Massachusetts’ cities to create incentives for private landowners to take sidelined vacant lots and put them into service as growing spaces for their communities. At The Food Project, I see the power of agriculture to create personal and social change on a daily basis. I am thrilled to see our state government engaged in the question of how to encourage food production in cities across the Commonwealth. Since our inception 26 years

ago, The Food Project has believed that our biggest contribution to making change is in creating new models and approaches on the ground. We believe that by showing that something is possible here, we create new possibilities everywhere. While this continues to be core to our approach, over the past year, we have been thrilled to work closely with the MA Food System Collaborative to take some of the models we have helped create, develop, and champion, and bring them to the attention of government agencies and our legislature. Working hand in hand with our partners in food system change at home and across the state, we move closer to our vision of a world where youth are active leaders, diverse communities feel

connected to the land and each other, and everyone has access to fresh, high-quality food. Thank you for your support and for helping make this work possible! – J. Harrison, Executive Director

Boston 555 Dudley Street, Dorchester Lincoln 10 Lewis Street, Lincoln North Shore 120 Munroe Street, Lynn

are contributed by Amanda Chin. Additional editorial contributed by Ross Condit, and J. Harrison.

The Food Project’s mission is to create a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system.

10 Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773

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