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Eating school lunch every day

chili
chili
A friend of TFP recently passed on the URL to the facinating new blog FED UP WITH LUNCH: THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROJECT. "Mrs. Q", an anonymous teacher in a US school, eats the lunch from her cafeteria every day and writes a post about it, complete with a photo. In addition to the lunch profiles, recent posts have included a FAQ on the project and an open thread that's pulled in some interesting perspectives from other school lunches across the country. Well worth a vist if you'd like to see for yourself what American children are faced with on a daily basis.

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The 2010 Winter Institute is a wrap

Our annual Winter Institute came and went last week. Following is Institute organizer Greg Gale's summary. If you were interested but couldn't make it this winter, it's not too early to start thinking about attending the Summer Institute, coming up August 4th - 6th.

13 eager souls participated in this year's Winter Institute. They came from as close as Boston and as far away as NJ, NYC, VT, and ME. Most of them are running existing programs and some were getting ready to start new ones. All of them shared a deep passion for engaging youth in sustainable food systems work.

Their favorite part, imagine, was being with TFP teens talking, building raised bed containers, sorting seeds and doing a social justice workshop that required them to scramble across the floor grabbing candy in the ‘Scramble for Wealth and Power’. In between these experiential moments, we did some powerful reflection and learning about the theory and practice that drives TFP work.

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Looking Back at TFP From College

Gabriella Spitzer, an intern this past summer in Roxbury, wrote us recently. Here's what she said about TFP's impact on her experience at college (reprinted with permission!)

I wanted to tell you again how grateful I am to The Food Project. I am now at Barnard College, and I use so much that I learned from The Food Project all the time. I can and do talk about all the different ways oppression hurts people in all kinds of contexts. I'm so glad I came to college with the framework for thinking about oppression that I learned at the Food Project. I'm thinking seriously about majoring in Environmental Policy, and that comes directly from the work I did at The Food Project. I volunteered at a preschool this past semester, and I will work at a different preschool this coming semester because I know that I can't spend four years only dedicated to me -- I need to serve my community always, no matter what else I am doing. Thank you. I came to college prepared in part because of The Food Project.

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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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