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Meet Canaris, Seed Crew ’o7

Summer Site Supervisor at The Food Project CANARIS SIMMONS is all about changing the world. “I’m thinking a lot about community organizing and ways I can enact change in the world. The Food Project has given me the tools to do this,” said The Food Project alumnus, who is now studying sociology at UMass Amherst. This year, he’s also brimming with excitement as he’s returning to The Food Project as a summer site supervisor. He remembers when he interviewed to be a Seed Crew worker, “I was 14 and The Food Project was the first and only place I applied to. I remember the interview, playing a game with the other youth, and getting my picture taken with a Polaroid…I knew this was the place I wanted to be.” Since that day, he has stayed connected to The Food Project, working in the summers first as an assistant crew leader, then as a crew leader, before taking his current site supervisor position. “The youth keep bringing me back,” he said.

“Working with amazing youth who are ready to become leaders is so rewarding. It’s incredible to see the progression from where they start to the leaders they become.” His enthusiasm for positive reinforcement and “amazing-ness” is part of what makes Canaris an effective leader. He recalls working with a young woman who needed help building confidence. “I got her to practice saying ‘you’re amazing’ to herself at home. It was my proudest moment as a leader—it really helped her believe in herself. She stayed at The Food Project after that summer, and I know she will go on doing amazing things.” And, for Canaris, there is nothing more amazing than feeling like he’s enacting change. “In order to change the world, we have to invest in youth because they will inherit the

world. The Food Project is serious about what they are doing, and, as a youth—and now as an adult—I was inspired to be a part of change.” You can be part of that change too. The 90 youth joining us for Seed Crew this summer need your support to become leaders. Donate today to invest in youth and make this summer possible.

J.’s Corner: Springing forward in food and racial justice

J. helps out on the Lincoln Farm.

A Day in the Life

Follow a Seed Crew youth through a summer work day, and every aspect of our mission.

IN MY FIRST SEASON at The Food Project in 2005, my job was to turn forty 12-foot-high piles of soil in Lynn into a farm. The cold, early days of April were rough. High salt content in the soil made it tough for our early crops. Some second graders decided ripping up irrigation lines was a fun thing to do. A couple of high school students walking by yelled, "Hey man. What are you doing?" I yelled back, "Building a farm!" There was a long pause, laughter, and the response, "That won't work! You’re in the city." A growing sense of dread built in my chest. "What if this doesn't work?" We kept at it. Late spring rains washed the salt from the soil. An

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afternoon planting beans with the Ingalls students resolved the issue of the irrigation lines. We hired our first Seed Crew and harvested our crops. Neighbors became our first community gardeners. Slowly but surely the piles of soil became a farm. Looking back, I am inspired by the incredible progress we have made both locally and nationally on recognizing the importance and value of food and farms. When The Food Project started in 1991, food systems and sustainable agriculture were at the fringe of public awareness. Today, food and farming are center stage

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Farmers, Fables & Feasts, our spring Page fundraiser


A Day in the Life

The youth in our summer Seed Crews bring to life every aspect of The Food Project's mission. Follow the dotted line to see how youth learn to farm sustainably, form community connections, and become the next generation of leaders.

Every morning,


youth from across Greater Boston and the North Shore travel to work at The Food Project. For some, this is their first paid summer job ever.

Youth from diverse backgrounds coming together

* Plus the 38 youth who work as assistant crew leaders and Root Crew workers.


LAND The morning is all about farm work. Seed Crews tend the fields, prepare beds, weed, plant, and harvest.

Once a week, youth work at hunger relief organizations. Youth prepare and serve meals made with produce from our farms. Youth also sell produce at farmers markets serving low-income neighborhoods.


of produce harvested on our farms is donated and distributed to families in need.



pounds of produce harvested by our youth and staff working together every summer

Youth serve fresh, healthy meals to people at shelters and soup kitchens every summer.


Increasing access to fresh, healthy, affordable food...

Youth sit together for a relaxed lunch and discuss who best cooked "Veggie of the Week."

FUN Youth bond with each other through afternoon activities and the commute home at the end of the day.

HOME Youth are agents of change in their communities.

Working together to build a sustainable food system

...because we believe healthy food is a right

Youth engage in food and social justice issues.

LEARNING Youth engage each other in dialogue and learn valuable leadership skills through workshops on food, social, and racial justice.


of Seed Crew alumni say they now better understand problems of social and food injustice, and are better equipped to address these issues.

Your support is an essential part of creating a meaningful Seed Crew experience. Give today, for the next generation of leaders. 2 Spr ing 2 0 1 5

Youth. Food. Community.

A spring evening of celebration and giving

“The Food Project is doing the real work that needs to be done. They are like food warriors.” - Byron Hurt filmmaker, activist, and Leadership Award Recipient

THE FOOD PROJECT’S third annual benefit Farmers, Fables & Feasts—held at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter on May 6—was an incredible evening that brought together The Food Project community and supporters while raising over $250,000. Over 250 guests came out to support The Food Project, learn more about our mission, and hear from Root Crew members Julia F., 18, South Hamilton, and Gaurav D., 18, Arlington, about their experiences working for food justice. “What I love the most about The Food Project is that the difference I am making is so clearly visible and tangible, both in the fields and in people’s lives,” said Gaurav in his speech. The Food Project presented Byron Hurt—award-winning documentary filmmaker, and activist—with its second Leadership Award, honoring changemakers whose work and vision within the food movement impacts our communities, food infrastructure, and environment. Byron shared a clip of his film Soul Food Junkies, which explores this cultural culinary tradition and highlights how the food movement is expanding access to healthier options for people in lowincome communities. Heartfelt thanks to all those who made the event a success, by attending, volunteering, and donating. A special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors Linda and Bill McQuillan: We are so grateful for their deep commitment to investing in youth, food, and community.

Thank you to our generous sponsors! Presenting Sponsor Linda and Bill McQuillan Master Gardeners Cooley LLP Gourmet Caterers Lenore and George Travis Greenhouse Keepers Boston Urban Partners, LLC Annalisa and Dino Di Palma Fresh Pond Capital/Reynders McVeigh Capital Management, LLC Lahey Health Stacey and Larry Lucchino New England Biolabs, Inc. Northeastern University The Osprey Foundation Seed Sowers Arjuna Capital Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management Cambridge Trust Company Danny Chin Amanda Dean Margaret Leipsitz and Matthew Yarmolinsky John and Jill Preotle Pure Strategies, Inc. Janet Selcer and Joel Schwartz Tillers of the Soil Ann and Jared Chase Eastern Bank Beverly Gee and Manu Daftary Rimma Gluzman Gordon Hall and Linda Hall Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation Tom and Kim Litle Amelie L. Ratliff Polly and Brock Reeve Dylan and Bea Sanders

Photos clockwise from left: 1.(From left) youth speaker Gaurav D., Executive Director J. Harrison, benefit co-Chair Linda McQuillan, Leadership Award Recipient Byron Hurt, Board Chair Dylan Sanders, and youth speaker Julia F. 2. Youth Debbie J. and Paul W. serve appetizers. 3. Guests enjoy bidding in the live auction. 4. Guest Deborah Dorman receives a gift basket from our youth at the end of the night. 5. Guests began their dinner with pickled Photos by Gretjen Helene Photography. vegetables and fresh bread.

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J.’s Corner

Springing forward in food and racial justice Continued from page 1 in the national discourse, and more affluent communities are home to a growing number of small farms and local food outlets. We have made huge strides forward on this front and as an organization we have much to be proud of in our contribution to the field. At the same time, I believe our founders would be shocked to see how the rising inequality in income, the persistence of racism, and the epidemic of food-related illness have combined to prevent meaningful change in low-income neighborhoods. As an organization with deep roots in both low-income urban

neighborhoods and more affluent suburban communities, this divide is stark and calls us to action. In coming newsletters, we will be sharing pieces of our new strategic plan. These strategies map out the charge of our mission: how our thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds will work to build a more sustainable food system. While a core intention of these strategies is to build and share new models for making fresh, healthy food affordable in our communities, they are rooted in a deeply held belief: by changing the world in the fields and communities where we work, we help change the world everywhere.

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

Today, youth from all around the North Shore come to our urban farms in Lynn and learn to grow fresh, healthy food.

Get your CSA Share today

and get in on the summer bounty! Buy online at or call 781-259-8621 x21

Three Squares New England Ride for Food 3 routes — 1 great cause — to alleviate hunger in Greater Boston. Sign up online to ride with The Food Project team or volunteer on September 20, 2015.

Happenings is published three times a year to inform our readers about activities and events in our community. The newsletter design, graphics, and editorial are contributed by Heather Hammel. Additional editorial contributed by J. Harrison, Alice Poltorick, and Lucy Sweeney.

10 Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773

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