S pr i n g 2 0 1 8
Welcome Seed Crew
Summer and the start of Seed Crew are just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! On July 2nd, 72 high school aged youth from diverse cultural, racial, economic, and geographic backgrounds will join The Food Project to work on our urban and suburban farms in Beverly, Boston, Lincoln, Lynn, and Wenham. During the season, youth work together to grow vegetables and distribute thousands of pounds of produce to their communities—all while developing important leadership, teamwork, diversity, and civic participation skills. Young people thrive in the
challenging atmosphere on the farm and experience remarkable growth by the end of the season. “Seed Crew is a great summer job for young people—and so much more,” said Cindy Davenport, director of learning & design. “Besides making lifelong friends, young people in Seed Crew learn to push through discomfort by spending hours with each other working on the farms, engaging in deep conversations about disparity in the food system, and learn to pull together in service to others.” After working on the farm each morning, Seed Crew spends most afternoons in workshops learning about sustainable agriculture, food
access, social justice, and more. They also spend one day a week at hunger relief organizations preparing and serving the produce they have grown. Seed Crew is the entry point to participate in The Food Project’s more advanced youth crews. Following Seed Crew, young people may apply to continue working each academic season and summer throughout their high school careers. You make this incredible opportunity possible for our incoming “seedlings.” We hope you will make a gift today to support these young people who will be joining us on the farms in just a few short weeks, so they can thrive this summer and throughout the year.
Salad Days Reaches 800 Students
We’re thrilled to report another successful season of Salad Days! Salad Days is made possible through our partnership with the Lynn Public Schools and FoodCorps and is offered to nine elementary schools throughout Lynn. This year was a huge success, with over 800 students participating. Salad Days is a hands-on, seed to fork experience that gives third graders the opportunity to interact with fresh food in a powerful way; they plant lettuce and other veggies, tend the garden, watch their plants come to life, and harvest the veggies to eat. 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. Initially piloted by the Backyard Growers in Gloucester in 2013, Salad Days has since taken root. In 2016 The Food Project’s FoodCorps service member, Jenn Coverdale, ran Salad Days for the first time in Lynn at Ford,
“This is the best salad I’ve ever had!” - Salad Days Participant
Ingalls, and Callahan Elementary Schools. This year, we expanded the program to include the LincolnThomson, Harrington, Washington, Hood, Drewicz, and Brickett elementary schools. Community businesses, such as Nightshade—a North Shore based pop up restaurant—also participated this year. Nightshade’s Chef Rachel Miller provided homemade dressings that students were encouraged to try. These recipes were included in a flyer sent home to all students who
participated. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will also be pitching in with over a dozen volunteers to build gardens at Ford Elementary School in June. Salad Days would not be possible without your support. This program is a perfect example of the collective power of youth, food, and community to make healthy food available to all. Salad Days not only introduces the concepts of garden-fresh food to many students, it also inspires a love of fresh veggies while promoting healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
A Journey With Youth, Food, and Community
On April 25th, The Food Project kicked off its 27th growing season in style at our annual Big Shindig at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. This year, over 325 supporters raised $430,000 while celebrating the power of youth, food, and community. With support from Presenting Sponsors Bank of America and Linda and Bill McQuillan, and co-chairs, Michelle Dyer and Katie Ryan, this was our best Big Shindig yet! “Tonight we celebrate another year of growing lots of food (225,000 lbs.) and growing young people into team members who care about the land, their communities, and each other,” said Linda McQuillan, Chair of the Board of Trustees. This year’s event featured four youth speakers from Dirt Crew and Root Crew, who shared stories of what working at The Food Project means to them. “Being a woman of color in America, it feels like I don’t have a voice,” said Red H., a Root Crew member from Lynn. “The Food Project gives me the confidence that my voice matters.” 2 Spring 2 018
Together we honored 2018 Leadership Awardees, Cassandria Campbell and Jackson Renshaw— alumni of The Food Project and cofounders of Fresh Food Generation, a Boston-based food truck and catering company operating in areas where healthy options are hard to find. “As a teen growing up in Roxbury, The Food Project gave me my first opportunity to serve my community and learn about environmental and social justice,” said Cassandria. Jackson and Cassandria were celebrated for their commitment to hiring from the communities they serve and for their tireless work making fresh, healthy, local food available to all. Bank of America’s Allen Jones spoke passionately about the
company’s dedication to healthy communities and its involvement with The Food Project. “We’re committed to supporting programs that build economic mobility for individuals, families, and communities. Healthy children and families are the foundation of stable, vibrant communities that provide opportunity for all,” said Jones. We are honored to be part of a community of so many inspiring people dedicated to supporting youth leaders, diverse communities, and sustainable food systems. We are overwhelmed by the generosity and dedication of all of you who make this vision a reality every day.
Over $430,000 raised to support youth leadership, diverse communities, and increased access to fresh, healthy, local, affordable food for all.
Youth. Food. Community.
Thank You to 2018’s Big Shindig Sponsors PRESENTING SPONSORS Linda and Bill McQuillan
STEWARDS OF THE LAND Gourmet Caterers High Output
MASTER GARDENERS Rick Grudzinski and Julie Bowden Jordan and Julie Hitch Preble Jaques and Jessica Shattuck The Kelley Family Orange Door Fund
GREENHOUSE KEEPERS Boston Urban Partners Mrs. Patti Bellinger-Balzer Amanda Dean and Tracy Donsky Annalisa and Dino Di Palma Farrell, First, and Manion John and Mary Fowler/Christine Kondoleon and Frederic Wittmann Susan and Charles Gessner Sarah and Bob Gould Greenberg Traurig, LLP Harvard Pilgrim Health Care MI Leggett, founder Official Rebrand, Inc.
Stacey and Larry Lucchino New England Biolabs, Inc. Jill and John Preotle Reebok Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, LLC together with its division Fresh Pond Capital Chuck and Judy Hurley Riemenschneider The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Carolyn Zern
Summer Institute 2018 August 1 – 3
Lynn Grows Launches
On Saturday April 14th, the Lynn Grows Steering Committee revealed its community-driven vision for building a better food system in the city of Lynn. Lynn Grows is the culmination of two years of work, with the committee hearing from over 300 residents about their food realities during more than 30 listening sessions throughout Lynn. Lynn Grows began in late 2016, when The Food Project and the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance initiated a partnership with a diverse group of community members to work towards building a more equitable, healthy food system. The steering committee, a group of 25 Lynn
residents and city stakeholders, drafted a list of six priorities based on feedback gathered during the listening sessions to guide the initiative— including improving access to healthy food, building community gardens, increasing availability of fresh local produce at area food businesses, and more. North Shore Regional Director John Wang shared, “We are excited to present a community-created vision to build a better food system in Lynn and look forward to getting other Lynn residents and stakeholders involved in making this a reality.” To learn more about Lynn Grows, visit: www.lynngrows.org.
Join us to learn, grow, and connect with your peers from across the country and the world. 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 engaging outdoor classroom training and on-farm learning during the dynamic summer season. register now. more info at: http://thefoodproject.org/institute
The Food Project 3
A Note From Linda
During the last two months I have had the pleasure of working more closely with the staff at The Food Project, as Interim Executive Director. I have worn many different hats during my seven plus years of involvement with The Food Project—as a volunteer, supporter, board member, and most recently as Chair of the Board of Trustees. As I write this, I have a new “boots
on the ground” perspective (literally and figuratively) and I could not be more proud of this organization. As we head into the summer, I am excited to see our farms spring to life and grow over 10 tons of food that will nourish our communities, thanks to your generous support. Your support also helps 120 young people grow into team members who care about the land, their communities, and each other—while becoming leaders for food system change. The Food Project is a safe place where young people, from different backgrounds and life experiences, come together across those differences to create meaningful change. They share their personal truths about difficult topics like race, gender identity, and the realities of economic inequality. They share their own
experiences with food insecurity and other injustices. Young people at The Food Project have a lot to say about the world they want to live in, and they work every day to bring equality to our food system. I cannot wait to meet the incoming young people in Seed Crew and kick off the summer! I feel privileged to be a part of The Food Project and am lucky to be able to learn from these amazing young people. Thank you! You have no idea how personally grateful I am, and how grateful all of The Food Project’s youth and staff are for your support.
join the food project’s team!
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Boston 555 Dudley Street, Dorchester Lincoln 10 Lewis Street, Lincoln North Shore 120 Munroe Street, Lynn
September 23RD, 2018
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Happenings is published three times a year to inform our readers
about activities in our community. The newsletter design, graphics,
and editorial are contributed by Hannah Ladesic. Additional editorial contributed by Ross Condit and Linda McQuillan.
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.
Grow Some Good on the North Shore North Shore
GROW SOME GOOD every $ matched!
Live on the North Shore? Double your donation today! You can help raise $100,000 for The Food Project’s work on the North Shore to: • Grow healthy food for those who need it most • Grow opportunities for youth to become leaders • Grow a diverse, resilient community that cares about our land and each other
• Grow a local food system that builds the local economy and helps the environment • Grow community gardens for children and families to connect with healthy food All donations from North Shore residents through June 30, 2018 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000 by the generous support of The Willow Tree Fund. Show your support for youth, food, and community today!
Donate to Grow Some Good: http://bit.ly/grow-some-good Please give today!