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On MLK day, with friends of different races

MLK Day is always extra special for us as it gives us an opportunity to participate in a community wide day of service, reflect on what it all means, and focus on one of our key values-- honest discussions about race, class and diversity.

This year, the weekend before MLK Day, 57 Dirt and Root Crew members gathered at winter retreats to do just that. The retreats were a mix of work and play, and a chance to check highlights and plan for the future. See our short highlight reel! 


Dirt Crew is the next stage for youth who complete our seven-week summer program. Dirt Crew members lead volunteers on our farms and speak and work at The Food Project’s events and fundraisers.

Root Crew comes next and is for youth looking to apply the skills they have  acquired. Root Crew members often take on projects that address sustainable agriculture and food inequity. Accomplishments so far include:

·      Over 30 raised beds built in urban backyards and

·      Workshops and volunteer sessions provided to more than 850 adults, including those who volunteered at Serve and Grow.

The retreats also had the deep, reflective work so unique to our programs: powerful storytelling and community visioning workshops with questions like “What do you want to replicate or change in the communities you know?”

And there were spontaneous moments of play and conversation – not to mention an impromptu beat session

Both retreats ended with a MLK Jr. Day of Service on Monday. Dirt Crew attended a leadership day hosted by the Northeastern University Center of Community Service, where they participated in mentorship workshops, wrote Valentine's Day cards for seniors who will receive them for in their Meals on Wheels package, wrote letters of support for military service members, and reflected on the meaning of service, leadership, and Dr. King's legacy. 

Root Crew had a “MLK Day Sunday Supper” and the North Shore Root Crew made a working visit to My Brother’s Table in Lynn the following day. 

One Root Crew member’s poem MLK Day Sunday Supper led to this powerful insight: holding hands with friends of different races is what happens at  The Food Project; here, youth are given the opportunity to bond across race, class and culture lines.



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