In 2014, The Food Project and a committee of residents from the Dudley neighborhood of Boston came together to envision a neighborhood food system, the beginning of what is now Dudley Grows.
This visioning and planning process, facilitated with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), engaged hundreds of residents over a period of nine months. Out of this process, the Dudley Grows vision and priorities were established:
- A resident-owned supply chain for great food, growing businesses that capture and build neighborhood wealth.
- Permanently secured vacant land for growing, so any resident who wishes to produce food can.
- Improved food in local schools, ensuring that youth are nourished with healthy food they enjoy.
- Physical development that supports the neighborhood food system.
Since 2015, the Dudley Grows coalition has brought together residents, neighborhood businesses, community development corporations, city agencies, and non-profit organizations to create significant changes in the neighborhood’s food landscape including:
- Three resident-owned markets and two restaurants now offering fresh, locally-grown food produce.
- Community gardens built on two city-owned vacant parcels, now managed by resident leaders.
- Five Dudley neighborhood schools participating in the Boston Public Schools/Shah Foundation school meals pilot.
- Designs for a new commercial building on Dudley Street, on the community land trust, that includes space for a resident-owned café, expected to be completed by 2020.