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a few food system pieces

 that happen to mention us!

  1. Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl of the Center for a Livable Future launches a passionate defense of school garden programs. It's news to me that school gardens need defending from anything but challenged school budgets, but apparently the movement is becoming big enough to spawn a backlash. Fortunately, "then they fight you" is step 3 of 4 according to Gandhi!
  2. One of my personal heroes, Bryant Terry, includes us on his short list of "organizations. . .doing particularly effective work right now" in a brief interview with change.org.
  3. Our School at Blair Grocery is working to bring food security and rebuild community in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. And, they're hoping to use a couple of our books to help anchor a new Urban Farming Library

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Apply for Summer Youth Program in our office

Are you excited about applying for the 2010 Summer Youth Program, but aren't sure where to get access to a computer and printer to fill out and print your application? You're in luck: as of last week, each of our offices has a workstation reserved for use by SYP applicants. 

Before coming in, you'll need to review the application instructions and assemble your materials. You may want to copy and paste your essays, which would be easiest to do from a webmail account (yahoo, gmail, etc.). Finally, please call ahead to make sure there will be someone in the office at the time you're planning to come.

As always, any and all questions about the Summer Youth Program and the application process can be directed to one of the following folks:

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Registration open for Winter Institute

Register now for...

The Food Project Institute

Winter Institute - February 4-6, 2010

Lincoln and Boston, MA

Download Registration Form (PDF)
Many people come to The Food Project during the summer and are inspired by the well-orchestrated symphony of activities - with beautiful, healthy food, and highly motivated, diverse teens working with passion towards a common mission. It seems to flow effortlessly.

The truth is….our summers are the complementary outcome of the other half of the year when we run vibrant youth programs such as the Academic Year Program and the Internship Program and plan for the next summer.

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note from TFP alumni Luis

Editor's note: we're happy to share (with permission of course!) the following note we received from TFP alum Luis Andino, who started in the Summer Youth Program way back in 2005.

Hello,

This may seems random but just emailing you to check in. Everything is going well here at Umass Dartmouth. I'm excited on my choice attending this school. So far I have a 106 average in bio, an A in precal, a B in english. The only class I'm struggling in is political science with a C, but I plan on improving in that. I work about 20 to max 25 hours a week. I am also going to apply to be an RA next semester to try to get involved in the school [...].

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Jesse and Omar on D.I.R.T.

Editor's note: this is the second blog entry from participants of this year's Academic Year Program (a.k.a. D.I.R.T.)

By Jesse Mishra & Omar Omar

I’m Omar Omar and I’m fifteen years old and I live in Dorchester.
I’m Jesse Mishra and I’m fifteen years old and I live in Newton.

We are both members of the 2009-2010 AYP/D.I.R.T. crew. Our D.I.R.T. Crew is a group of youth that participated in the Summer Youth Program and have continued working with The Food Project into the academic year. Both of us, have really enjoyed our experiences with D.I.R.T. so far. For Omar, working with D.I.R.T. has convinced him that he wants to give back to his community and work hard for the continued growth of his community.

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With a Hint of Cheese

D.I.R.T. (Dynamic Intelligent Responsible Teens)
D.I.R.T. (Dynamic Intelligent Responsible Teens)
Editor's note: the following is from Academic Year Program participant Sam DeRosa, and is the first in a series from youth program participants. Watch this space for more postings from AYP participants!

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In Memory of Henry Masters, 1984-2009

It is with great sadness that The Food Project shares the loss of a member of our community, Henry Masters.

As Henry's family writes:

"The thread that runs through Henry’s life—his leadership, purpose, mentoring, and capacity to effect change—is perhaps best expressed through his ten-year relationship with The Food Project, an organization fostering personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Henry started there at age 14 as a crew member, rising through the ranks of summer positions to Crew Leader, Roxbury Site Supervisor, and later, between college and graduate school, a year full-time as Youth Programs Coordinator, building programming and curricula that ensured a level playing field for young participants from all backgrounds in the Boston metropolitan area. The Food Project embodied Henry’s hopes and dreams for society, not to mention his enjoyment of good food—grown well, harvested and cooked lovingly, and distributed to those for whom a healthy diet was economically challenging. It was a practical way to accomplish change and see growth of both food and youth."

There are so many wonderful stories and memories to be shared about Henry. Please join us in sharing your story by sending it to [email protected]. These stories as well as photos and poems about him can be viewed by visiting his memorial website at www.rememberinghenry.com.

Please join The Food Project, along with all of Henry's family and friends, for a memorial service to remember Henry and celebrate his life. The service will be held at 2 p.m. on December 12th, at the Arlington Street Church, in Boston. The church is located at 351 Boylston St., right on the corner of Arlington and Boylston streets. It is directly across from the Boston Public Garden.
 

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MSN/Kashi video with Anna Lappé features TFP

The Food Project has had a lot of exciting visitors over the last few months and our youth have been the hosts for so many of them. As our season winds down and our last groups of volunteers visit the farm, it's exciting to show how much we can accomplish in just one day in the fields.

Please take a few minutes to watch this inspiring new video and think about the impact that a whole season at The Food Project has on our local food system and how you can be a part of it. Anna Lappé offers a great introduction, and this year's D.I.R.T. crew really shines.

Practical Guide to Healthier Living - MSN.com
Practical Guide to Healthier Living - MSN.com

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Weeder to Leader: Hien Vu’s Summer

Crew E
Crew E
 Hien Vu came to The Food Project looking for a summer job, and he left as a leader.

Hien, a 16-year-old Vietnamese boy from Roxbury, was not the sort of kid that you might peg as a go-getter. He was well intentioned and had a lot of potential. He also had a “too cool for school” attitude,

This summer, through hard, meaningful work in a supportive environment, Hien revealed a new side of his personality. He grew into a natural leader within his crew, keeping the group on track when friendly competition and games threatened to boil over. He began to express himself more, bringing in his family’s traditional foods to share with his peers.

By the end of the summer, he was stretching in ways no one expected. Hien gave a moving speech before a crowd of 200 at the end-of-summer Family Feast, explaining the ways in which his adult mentors at The Food Project came to serve as role models for him, in the absence of a consistent father figure.

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Interns in Action: Jamila's RIC experience

Here's an account from TFP intern Jamila Kibirige on her experience participating in last month's Rooted In Community conference:

On July 28, 2009 I had the privilege to attend the RIC conference that took place in Portland, Maine. There were three organizations that were in charge of the conference: The Food Project, Lots to Garden and Cultivating Community.

The role that I played was to lead the opening ceremony where we talked about safe space and I was in charge of a group of different people from all over the country in making up rules for the conference so that they can all feel free to share.

The conference was 5 days long and we had a lot of different activities to do. After we arrived that Wednesday we met the different groups and had the opening ceremony. The next three days we had the opportunity to do some fieldwork on the gardens of the three planning organizations. We got to ride bicycles and it was fun because it was a lot of people on bicycles throughout the city. We had a lot of different workshops too.

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