W Agriculture is COOL— now let’s make it accessible “agriculture
when Jess Liborio first started working at The Food Project as a high school sophomore in 1994. “No one was talking about food as a justice issue, and The Food Project was one of the only organizations working with young people in agriculture,” she said. “I thought farming was a really weird thing to do, but I wanted to be around the people at The Food Project.” Jess would go on to serve on our first board of directors, and later return to The Food Project as an assistant grower, farm manager, and finally, as our current programs and community outreach manager. It’s been 25 years since our founding, and agriculture IS cool. As people return to the land in unique ways, urban farming is transforming our city landscapes, eating local is at the forefront of many people’s food choices, and connections between land and people are growing strong once again. It’s those connections that remain at the heart of The Food Project’s work. “When I was 25 years-old, I remembered how much I loved farming and thought I would try
that again by coming back to The Food Project,” Jess said. “When I look back at my first season here, I see the many positive changes The Food Project has made in how we do things. I also see what has been kept intact—a desire to be learning and growing, to be asking questions about how to do our work better, and a continuing commitment to connect with people.” “At the same time,” she added, “The Food Project has grown bigger, our impact is broader, and the number of connections we can foster has grown exponentially.” Building those connections—with people, communities, and the land—is crucial as we look for opportunities for meaningful intervention in the food system. As we head into our 25th year as an organization, that meaningful intervention means building win-win distribution models that create opportunities for farmers while making food affordable and accessible for all people. Agriculture may be cool now, but our work isn’t over until everyone has access to fresh, healthy, affordable food.
hen the food project started in
1991, our mission was to engage youth and adults to work together to combat discrimination through the shared work of farming. Since then, you have helped us grow into a nationally recognized non-profit organization that works at the intersection of youth, food, and community. As we enter our 25th anniversary, we would like to give a big “Thanks!” to you—our friends and supporters. So many of you have taken the opportunity throughout these last 25 years to donate your time, treasure, and talent to help us further our shared goals of developing youth leaders and creating local, sustainable food systems that are accessible to all. On April 28th we will be kicking off our silver anniversary! Join us to celebrate all that you have helped achieve empowering youth, strengthening communities, and stewarding over 70 acres of urban and suburban farmland. Come and be inspired by an evening of stories from our youth and a celebration of our Leadership Award honoree, Frank Martinez Nocito, Assistant Director, SNAP Nutrition Education at the MA Department of Transitional Assistance. Nocito is being honored for his instrumental role in improving access to healthy food options for low-income communities, including promoting the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at farmers markets. Food connects everyone. We hope that you will attend and connect with us over a tremendous family-style meal catered by Chive Events. The evening will include a raffle and a live auction hosted by Billy Costa—all in support of The Food Project.
The Big Shindig April 28 6 p.m. cocktails • 7 p.m. dinner The Innovation and Design Building, Boston more at shindig.thefoodproject.org
celebratin 1,566 youth in our youth crews since 1991
ttttthat's how many pounds of food we've grown over 25 years
Serving food at
Rosie's Place in 1991. Our youth still do that today. Dominique Powell, Seed Crew 1997, staff 2004
g 25 years
for Building raised-bed gardensts and neighborhood residen community centers.
check out our style in 1991
ing at l l e s d e t Today r . 5 9 9 1 n i We sta kets r a ome m s r e rm in low- inc
arkets m o w t e g we mana
Vera Kelsey-Watts, Seed Crew 2001, staff 2009
We started with 2 acres, now we have 7 0 !
Having fun since day 1
Farm-Fresh Local Delicious!
Join us for a season of sustainablygrown produce!
Lincoln Seedling Sales May 7 & 8 Baker Bridge Farm, Lincoln
We’re now selling farm shares at our Lincoln, Lynn, and Beverly Farms.
Boston City Farm Fest May 14 11–2 p.m. Dudley Greenhouse, Roxbury
Lynn City Farm Fest
May 21 11–3 p.m. Munroe Street Garden, Lynn
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.
Sponsorship opportunities, and more at shindig.thefoodproject.org
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 Heather Hammel. Additional editorial contributed by Ross Condit.
10 Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773