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Lessons from a Lengthy Commute

The following blog was written by Food Project intern Lucas Munson. Lucas is 17 years old and lives in Arlington, Mass. He participated in The Food Project's Summer Youth Program in 2011 and in the Academic Year Program during the following school year. Currently, Lucas is an academic year intern.


Hey, my name is Lucas Munson, and I've been with The Food Project since the summer of 2011. What I have found most fascinating about The Food Project (TFP) is how it creates such a powerful network in such a large area. The Food Project helps each youth, myself included, develop a far greater understanding of what really is Boston. Whether a youth is from Boston, the suburbs, or the North shore, they are required to travel to a different part of the metro area for work. For me, this meant venturing to the heart of Roxbury.

I never knew there were so many ways to get from Arlington to Roxbury. I started off by taking the bus to the red line, and then taking another bus from JFK Station. This was fun and new to me, as I've always taken the bus, but never inside Boston. I found it exciting to hear people speaking my native Portuguese, while others spoke Mandarin and others still discussed vegetables in Spanish. I loved listening to conversations between lovers, families, and strangers. I saw an old man play the harmonica, and I saw a family play with what must've been a new puppy. I found the red line to be an experience all in itself, as some days it would take only 20 minutes to go 8 stops, yet most days it would seem to get stuck at Charles/MGH for at least 15 extra minutes.

After about a year of making this same journey, I found a new way to get to Roxbury. I could take the 1 bus from Harvard to Dudley Station. I therefore decided to explore this new route, and embarked on the bus on a chilly autumn morning. I found the ride even more enjoyable than the red line, and certainly faster and more direct. The bus stopped at countless major locations throughout both Boston and Cambridge. From Harvard to MIT to the New England Conservatory to Dudley Station, I found the bus showed me an even greater range of Boston's diversity and culture. The people on the bus ranged from college students to musicians to nurses to anything in between. Once at Dudley Station, I would walk through Roxbury to the West Cottage farm, a walk that consisted of seeing a part of Boston I also seldom saw growing up in Arlington.

I grew to love the lengthy commute to work. It allowed me to see more of the city than I could possibly imagine from the quiet of a car. And of course the best part of the commute was the destination. Nothing beats getting off that bus and getting into the greenhouse or the farm, where all that diversity comes together.

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