The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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A letter from Board Chair Gene Benson


Dear Friend of The Food Project,

I am writing to inform you of a major staffing change at The Food Project (TFP). After nearly four years of providing leadership at TFP and in the broader real food movement, Margaret Williams, our Executive Director, has decided to move on to pursue new opportunities. Margaret has resigned effective September 16, 2011.

As many of you know, Margaret joined TFP in 2008 to help us embark on an exciting and important phase of strategic growth. Under her leadership, TFP has expanded our impact dramatically – re-imagining and deepening our commitment to youth, local food, and community. Her accomplishments are many, far exceeding the space of this letter to list in their entirety. I trust that everyone who reads this will understand that what follows represents only a sampling of her contributions.

Recognizing that working in collaboration with others is critical to achieving social change, Margaret has led TFP’s engagement in partnerships with a broad range of communities and groups. One example that stands out is our partnership with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Together, we’ve opened an urban greenhouse that provides the Dudley neighborhood of Boston with fresh local produce and youth employment opportunities throughout the year. Margaret has also brought renewed energy to TFP’s local and national advocacy for real food – food that nourishes consumers, producers, and the environment alike – to make it accessible to communities that need it most. This has meant working with Boston officials to increase low-income residents’ access by ensuring that SNAP benefits (food stamps) are widely accepted at farmers’ markets throughout the city. This has also meant supporting the rise of a national network of college student activists persuading their universities to shift, in 10 years, $1 billion of their food budgets toward buying real food.

Throughout her tenure, Margaret has also ensured that TFP’s pioneering work with youth remains at the heart of what we do. Food Project youth have embraced leadership roles in our communities, building raised-bed gardens for city residents, providing educational workshops for their peers and adults, and acting as leading advocates for equal access to local, healthy food.

Under Margaret’s leadership, TFP’s longstanding commitment to creating personal and social change through sustainable agriculture has taken on even larger meaning and consequence. We are especially grateful that during these tough economic times, The Food Project's financial health has remained strong thanks in large part to Margaret's stewardship. She leaves us poised for greater success, making your continued support more vital and meaningful than ever.

I hope you will join all the members of the Board of Trustees in thanking Margaret for her enormous dedication and service to The Food Project and all the communities we serve, and wishing her the very best as she embarks on the next stage of her professional life.

TFP’s Board and senior management will work closely together to manage the transition as we begin a search for Margaret’s successor. If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at [email protected].

Sincerely,


Eugene Benson
Chair, Board of Trustees

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