Dear Friends and Supporters,
As I write this, I have just finished my first full week on the job as The Food Project’s new executive director. It’s been an exciting and invigorating time, learning about the organization and its work from the people who make it run. I still have a way to go in fulfilling my commitment to sit down and meet with all staff and get to know key donors and supporters, and from what I’ve seen and heard so far, the passion and commitment that drew me to TFP are real. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead this vibrant community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds working together to build a sustainable food system.
Although I come to TFP with a broad range of leadership experience, my priority in these first months is to listen and learn. From that, I’ve been telling everyone I’ve met with that “you are my teacher, and I’m here to learn.” I want to extend this invitation to the broader community of Food Project friends and supporters. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the brief time I’ve been executive director, it’s that TFP is a complex organization. I will appreciate all the knowledge that everyone is willing to share with me.
One area that I’m especially eager to learn more about is sustainable farming and food systems. My own background is in youth leadership development and building community collaborations – two out of the three key areas of TFP’s work – yet I am as enthusiastic about food and agriculture as the others. In many ways, the holistic approach of sustainable farming resonates deeply with the values underlying efforts I’ve pursued to help young people and communities grow. I’m looking forward to getting out on the land, rolling up my sleeves, and working with our dedicated growers.
As most of you know, I’ve joined The Food Project at an important moment for the organization. In terms of the current year, we’re on the verge of launching our Summer Youth Program, our pioneering program working with teens from throughout greater Boston and the North Shore. Our growing season has gotten under way, with our CSAs in Lincoln and metro Boston already in their second week, as well as our Dudley Town Common farmers’ market in Roxbury. Our North Shore CSAs will be under way next week with our Lynn farmers' market due to start the first week of July. This year also marks our 20th anniversary, and we’ll be celebrating this milestone in the fall with TFP’s first major fundraising gala. You’ll be hearing more about the event soon, both on our website and through other channels.
For now, I’d like to reiterate how excited I am to be here and how much I look forward to meeting with and learning from everyone who’s passionate about this organization. See you on the farm!
Selvin L. Chambers III
Dear Friends and Supporters,