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The Food Project's Big Shindig Rings in 25th Anniversary in Style


On Thursday, April 28, The Food Project rang in its silver anniversary in style at the Big Shindig held at Boston's magnificent Innovation & Design Building. The event, which raised over $300,000, brought together a room full of supporters, youth, and staff for an amazing evening of delicious food catered by Chive Sustainable Events, inspiring stories by The Food Project youth speakers Dom and Phoebe (full remarks below), a celebratory toast from co-chairs Dylan Sanders and Natasha Lamb, remarks by J. Harrison, and a lively auction hosted for the 2nd year by Billy Costa, host of NESN's Dining Playbook and KISS 108's Matty in the Morning.

 
 

Thank You to Our 2016 Big Shindig Sponsors

A huge thank you to this year’s sponsors who helped us raise over $300,000 to support The Food Project’s youth programming, sustainable agriculture on urban and suburban farms, and distribution of healthy produce to food-insecure communities in Greater Boston and on the North Shore.

Allen Jones of Bank of America
Allen Jones of Bank of America

This year's Presenting Sponsors were Bank of America and Linda and Bill McQuillan. Bank of America’s Allen Jones (Merrill Lynch market executive in charge of the Wellesley market) was on hand to discuss the importance that youth-adult partnerships play in empowering young people as leaders. During his remarks, Allen said; “The Food Project’s approach of combining agriculture, entrepreneurism, and social justice provides the next generation with unique, meaningful experiences, along with the tools and experiences they need to succeed and thrive.” Read Allen's full remarks.

The Food Project would like to thank Bank of America for being a strong supporter of The Food Project for 20 years—both financially and through their employees who volunteer in our Serve & Grow activities.

Frank Martinez Nocito - 2016 Leadership Award Recipient
During the evening’s festivities, The Food Project honored Frank Martinez Nocito—Project Director for the Massachusetts Healthy Incentives Program—with its Leadership Award. The award acknowledges change-makers whose work and vision within the food movement impacts our communities, food infrastructure, and environment. 
 
In her introductory remarks, presenting sponsor and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Linda McQuillan noted that, "Frank has worked tirelessly to insure that the people of Massachusetts have access to healthy food choices every day. He has been an amazing partner in helping to launch programs that benefit people in food-insecure communities, such as piloting the use of SNAP benefits at farmers markets and to purchase CSA farm shares."
Frank Martinez Nocito
Frank Martinez Nocito

During his acceptance speech, Frank discussed food system change, saying; “Using food as a catalyst for growth and change allows us to set a stage for forward momentum and transformation in all of our lives, our families, and our communities.”  Read Frank's full remarks.

 

J. Harrison, Executive Director, The Food Project
J. Harrison, Executive Director, The Food Project
The Food Project's Executive Director, J. Harrison, reminded us of all that we have, and can continue to accomplish when we work together. "The Food Project is people coming together to grow, test and hold up really big ideas and ideals. Ideas about human dignity and equality. Ideas about the right relationship between people and the land. Ideas about the human right to good, healthy food. Big ideas and ideals grounded in and supported by hard work on our farms and in our communities." Read J.'s full remarks.

Two of the evening’s big stars were Food Project youth, Dom Newton and Phoebe Rader-Gale. 

Phoebe captivated the Big Shindig audience with her life of learning in The Food Project. “The Food Project has always been an important part of my life. I grew up just 2 minutes from the Lincoln farm, and I’ve always had a special connection with the land.” Read Phoebe's full remarks.

Phoebe Rader-Gale
Phoebe Rader-Gale
Dom Newton
Dom Newton

Dom lit people’s souls with his “tomato as a mentor” speech. “My favorite mentor is the tomato. A lot of you look confused. Let me explain.” Read Dom's full remarks.

Proceeds from the event support The Food Project’s youth programming, sustainable agriculture on urban and suburban farms, and distribution of healthy food to communities in need in Greater Boston and on the North Shore.

The Food Project is grateful for the event committee and volunteers who made the event such an enormous success.

   
   

 

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