The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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Giving Common Challenge Starts Soon!


On Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11, The Food Project will be participating in The Boston Foundation's Giving Common Challenge. The Giving Common Challenge is a 36-hour online event to drive donations to participating nonprofits. From 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Food Project supporters can donate to us through our profile on the Giving Common website. In addition to the donations collected, The Boston Foundation is offering $150,000 in prizes to participating organizations for various accomplishments, such as most money donated during particular time slots or the highest number of unique donors. Please check out our Giving Common profile and help us win some prizes! Gifts of any size are appreciated - from $25 to $5,000!

 

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Cooking Up Greens!

Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
On Saturday, The Food Project held a cooking class called "One Vegetable, Four Ways" as part of our ongoing Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well workshop series. The class focused on cooking with an assortment of hardy, leafy greens and learning techniques to use many varieties interchangeably. Food Project staff Kathleen Banfield and high school senior Judy Merisier led the class.

To begin, attendees tasted four types of sautéed greens – collards, Lacinato kale, Tyfon-Holland greens, and Japanese Sharaku spinach, all cooked individually - and talked amongst each other to compare flavors, textures, and what they liked or disliked about each variety. The tasting sparked great conversations, as people had varying opinions about their favorites and which one was most bitter! To highlight variations of a simple stir-fry, participants sampled greens cooked with coconut milk, and then with curry powder - both were well liked and delicious.

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Governor Patrick Visits the Dudley Hub

Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
On Tuesday, September 18, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson joined representatives from The Food Project (TFP), the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) to tour urban agriculture initiatives in Boston's Dudley Street neighborhood. The group visited The Food Project's urban farm on West Cottage Street, the Dudley Greenhouse on Brook Avenue, and several community gardens on Brook Avenue. Along the way, Governor Patrick chatted with neighborhood growers about their gardens, what they are growing, and why gardening is important to them. "It was exciting to see how much of an agriculture supporter our governor is," remarked TFP Director of Community Programs Brandy Brooks, “and how knowledgeable and interested he is [in urban agriculture].

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City Council Recognizes TFP's Twentieth

The Food Project at the Boston City Council
The Food Project at the Boston City Council
At the opening of the Boston City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo recognized The Food Project for our work in youth development, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement over the past twenty years. Councilor Arroyo presented a proclamation of the City Council of Boston congratulating TFP on our twentieth anniversary and commending us for many years of outstanding service to the communities of Boston. Executive Director Selvin Chambers, Board Chair Eugene Benson, Communications Director Ki Kim, and Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Elena Martinez were present to receive the honors on behalf of TFP. At the end of the presentation, Chambers spoke to TFP’s commitment to our mission of supporting what he calls the “pyramid of hope”: youth, food, and community.

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Spotlight on Our Impressive Interns

Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
For the past several weeks, while the Summer Youth Program participants were learning for the first time about The Food Project, 34 carefully selected teenagers from our pool of experienced youth took part in TFP's Summer Internship Program. Interns represent the most experienced youth staff at The Food Project. In the summer months, they learn in-depth skills in various aspects of TFP's programming, take initiative in leading activities and workshops for TFP youth and community members, and serve as role models for the youth in the Summer Youth Program. This summer, they did some pretty awesome and productive work.

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A Stupendous Summer of Youth and Food

2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
With Labor Day right around the corner, we'd like to take a look back at the excellent summer of 2012. Summer is arguably the most exciting time at The Food Project. Our flagship Summer Youth Program is in full swing for seven weeks during July and August, and our youth interns are hard at work both on the farms and in our communities throughout the summer months. The farms are in full bloom; our farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture programs are going strong; and backyard gardens around the greater Boston area are turning out delicious vegetables, delectable herbs, and delightful flowers.

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Teens Teaching Teens About Healthy Eating

David Presents Common Ingredients
David Presents Common Ingredients
How much do you know about healthy eating? Pop quiz: How large is one serving of cheese? What is the difference between natural and artificial flavoring? What is a processed food? Who has the power in the food system?

Here at The Food Project, teens teach teens about these important issues. This summer, TFP youth interns Colleen Corporan, Judy Merisier, and David McGourty led workshops for teenagers in TFP's Summer Youth Program highlighting what is in the food that we eat and various issues to consider when deciding what to eat.

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Exploring the Dudley Hub

Courtney Leads a Tour
Courtney Leads a Tour
At the cusp of West and Brook
Lies a bounty of what chefs would cook.
Venture there and you'll find
The words written on your chest, in a sign.
 

On a recent Thursday morning, a small group of youth crew workers stood before The Food Project's Dudley Street office trying to extrapolate a location from this baffling poem. It took these teenagers from TFP's Summer Youth Program just a few minutes to figure out where to run for their next clue - how long would it take you?

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A Fruitful Year in the Garden

Grace in the Garden at The Open Door
Grace in the Garden at The Open Door
Grace Cherubino is the "garden lady" of Veterans Memorial Elementary School and Beeman Memorial Elementary School in Gloucester, Mass. Over the past year, Grace has served the community of Gloucester and The Food Project as a FoodCorps Service Member. She ran after-school programs at both schools, coordinated vegetable-tasting events at lunchtime, and helped to operate the community garden at The Open Door Food Pantry.

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Scholarship for Young Volunteers

Green Mountain College
Green Mountain College
Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont has partnered with The Food Project to establish a scholarship for high school youth who have completed a minimum of 100 hours of service in their community. "The Food Project Make a Difference Scholarship" will award $5,000 towards tuition and fees at Green Mountain College for students who have completed at least 50 hours of service at The Food Project and 50 hours of service at another registered non-profit organization.

The Food Project has the privilege of working with over 3,000 dedicated volunteers each year. Our volunteers include teenagers, young adults, adults, and senior citizens and come from schools, universities, corporations, non-profits, religious organizations, community organizations, and more. We are very excited for this opportunity to reward some of our youngest and most dedicated volunteers.

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