Tag Archives: Food Day

Powisset Farm Cooks Up a Local Food Feast

Barn Dinner 8.30.15

If you have been to Powisset Farm, you know it’s a special place. Not only easy on the eye, but a place where everybody knows your name, where everyone knows their farmer (Meryl Latronica) and where you can go to get away from the oh-so-close but so far city.

Barn DinnerLine

On Friday October 23rd, Powisset Farm will be hosting their first (of many, hopefully) Fall Farm Dinner where people from the community will come together as “the last hurrah” of the season before we switch gears to winter crops and indoor activity. The meal will be catered by Heritage Food Truck Company and will incorporate produce from the farm. Jack’s Abbey Craft Lagers (Framingham) and Far from the Tree cider (Salem) will be joining to provide local beverages, while the Railroad House Band will be providing entertainment for the night.

We are participating in the Food Day celebration not only to bring awareness of the food grown literally right outside our front door, but as a celebration and  a way of bringing together a community – of new friends and old.

Powisset Farm is located at 37 Powisset Street in Dover, MA. To register for the Powisset Farm Fall Farm Dinner, click here or contact Nicole at nnacamuli@thetrustees.org or 508.785.0339 x3003.

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Help Families in Need to Dine Out with Dignity

Phfeast founder Dan Napierski at Mass Foodie Night

Phfeast founder Dan Napierski at Mass Innovation Nights Foodie #7

by Myrna Greenfield, Good Egg Marketing

As someone who loves growing, cooking, eating, and sharing healthy local food, I’m always looking for ways to pass along my latest and greatest find. So I was excited to meet Dan Napierski at the recent Mass Innovation Nights Foodie #7 and learn about Phfeast, his innovative new food philanthropy program. (Get it? Philanthropy + food = Phfeast!)

Phfeast LogoPhfeast is a restaurant loyalty program where you can earn free meals for children and families in need, just by checking in when you’re dining at participating eateries. This start-up, based at the Venture Development Center at UMass Boston, provides a platform for loyal customers to earn meal rewards for families that rely on food pantries for assistance.

“I have three young children of my own at home,” Napierski told me. “I feel fortunate to be able to put food on our table and to take them out for a meal. I started Phfeast when I realized that thousands of families in Massachusetts don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” he said.

“According to Project Bread, 700,000 Massachusetts children and adults are experiencing food insecurity,” Napierski added. “Food pantries are facing increased demand, so we’re partnering with them to reach people who need help. Phfeast enables families in need to enjoy a meal with dignity.”

iPhone Phfeast appNapierski, a Framingham, Mass. resident whose background is in software development, has already created a web-based program for Phfeast and native Android and iOS apps are coming soon. Customers earn points each time they “check in” at participating locations. When each location reaches a specific number of points, it issues a dining certificate to a local food pantry, allowing an individual or family in need to dine at that restaurant for free.

Phfeast charges the eateries a subscription fee. Participating restaurants get promoted by Phfeast and gain all the benefits of a traditional loyalty program. By promoting their participation in the program, the restaurants can attract new customers and encourage current customers to eat there more frequently. And the eateries will be able to account for and promote their charitable giving.

Currently, there are 11 participating locations, including six Stone Hearth Pizza Co. restaurants, three Chicken & Rice Guys food trucks, the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Somerville, and the Foodie Café in Framingham. Napierski is adding locations rapidly and hopes to expand to other cities, starting with Washington, DC.

“It’s important that we all work together to fight hunger,” says the Foodie Café’s David Blais.  “Choosing to partner with Phfeast made perfect sense.”

Napierski is a strong supporter of the Food Day priorities. “In addition to helping to reduce hunger, we’re helping families eat safer, healthier meals at the participating eateries,” he said. “And many of the low-paid workers in the food industry rely on food stamps and food pantries to get by. It’s an honor to be able to give back to those workers by enabling them to enjoy a free meal, on the house,” he added.

As we get closer to Food Day on October 24, signing up to participate in Phfeast as an eater, business or donor is an easy way for us to help reduce hunger, one meal at a time. For more info, visit http://www.Phfeast.com.

 

This blog grew thanks to many.

Neponset_Health_Centers_Apple-Crunch

Neponset Health Centers Apple Crunch with apples donated by Boston Area Gleaners, Inc.

Our blog started in 2012 to create a virtual town common where individuals and groups supporting Food Day can showcase their efforts.  The variety of content, creativity in expression, and colorful images show commitment across the Commonwealth that inspires.

The most popular blog posts of 2013.

How did they find us?

The top referring sites in 2013 were:

  1. facebook.com
  2. twitter.com
  3. boston.com
  4. learningcirclepreschool.org
  5. mass.gov

Special thanks to Sarah Cadorette, the Food Day Organizer who managed our Social Media efforts in 2013.

Working Together for Healthy People and Healthy Land

VegetablesWhen Nourish Boston first came together about a year ago, our ambitions were broad: nutrition education, increasing food access, supporting local farmers, encouraging health and fitness, and connecting members of the Boston community with their food, the earth, and each other. A year later, these goals remain unchanged, but building partnerships has emerged as the key strategy in turning any of these ideas into reality.

There is an incredible sense of community in Boston, and there are many like-minded organizations that are working to promote and support health and wellness. Nourish Boston was not the first to imagine a city in which all residents feel a connection to the land and to the food that comes from it. Organizations cannot act in isolation, but rather we must work together in concert to achieve our goals. Engaging both the Boston area community and joining the collective movement of organizations working to make Boston healthy is crucial.

Fresh TruckNourish Boston has collaborated with the Fresh Truck to support their efforts to make healthy food accessible to all and to help individuals and families make more informed choices when food shopping. This past spring, Nourish Boston members joined the Fresh Truck team at Fit for a King, an Urban Field Day at Dorchester’s Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 school. Students and their families received healthy produce from the Fresh Truck, and learned about the sugar content of their favorite drinks, how to recognize a healthy meal or snack among unhealthy options, and tasted mashed sweet potatoes donated by the Haley House restaurant.

FIt for a King

How much sugar is in your drink?

Our volunteers have joined the Dorchester Community Food Cooperative, the Sustainability Guild International, and Earthseed Yoga in offering weekly community fitness and wellness classes to build their Bowdoin Geneva Hub into a resource for healthy activities. We have also worked with Taza Chocolate in a joint online education effort to encourage discussion around the importance of local, organic, and fair trade foods.

It is so important to work collaboratively when it comes to promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. After all, great food is meant to be shared. Growing, sharing, preparing, and eating food with one another builds community.

To celebrate Food Day, Nourish Boston will be teaming up with the Mission Hill Health Movement by providing recipe cards and educational information about nutritional “super foods” at the farmer’s market in Roxbury Crossing on Tuesday October 22nd and in Brigham Circle on Thursday October 24th

In partnering with great organizations across Boston, Nourish is able to complement existing efforts for healthy living— and there are many! We’re proud to be just one of many passionate organizations fighting to improve access to healthy foods and encouraging community members to engage with their health, their community, and their environment.

Harvard Square Eateries Come Together to Support Food Day

The Harvard Square Business Association, in conjunction with the folks from Yelp Boston, are thrilled to announce that they will be participating in the 2nd Annual Food Day, with not one, but two exciting culinary events!

The 20 – Mile Food Day Challenge on October 24th will showcase restaurants that are featuring special dishes using ingredients sourced within a 20 mile radius of Harvard Square, and in some cases, slightly beyond.  Participating restaurants include the following, with more to be added soon!  Please check harvardsquare.com for updates.

Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe

Harvest

Russell House Tavern

Clover

Hong Kong

Sandrines

Grafton Street

the red house

UpStairs on the Square

Grendel’s Den

Rialto

Not sure which of these eateries to visit on Food Day?  We have the solution!  That evening, from 5:30 – 6:30 (or until food lasts), please join us on Brattle Plaza (in front of Crema Café – 27 Brattle Street) for A Free Tasting Event!  Representatives from the restaurants listed below will be on hand distributing tasty tidbits from their sustainable and creative Food Day menus.  Be sure to get there early – with restaurants like these, food will go quickly!  Fresh off his rousing set at this year’s Harvard Square Oktoberfest, local singer/songwriter, Patrick Mulroy will be serenading attendees.

Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe Rialto
Grafton Street Russell House Tavern
Grendel’s Den Sandrines
the red house UpStairs on the Square

The Harvard Square Business Association is proud to participate in Food Day, a celebration of and moving toward more healthy, affordable and sustainable food.  The HSBA wishes to thank Yelp Boston for conceiving the 20 Mile Food Challenge Event.

Participating restaurants in Harvard Square are being added often.  Please check harvardsquare.com for more information about this event and other events in Harvard Square.

September 17-21 is Mass. Harvest for Students Week!

September and October are months of bounty in Massachusetts—the tomatoes are red, the apples are crisp, and the winter squash is plentiful—and schools are taking advantage of that for their Harvest for Students Week celebrations. Harvest for Students Week is an annual celebration of Mass. agriculture sponsored by the Massachusetts Farm to School Project. Now in its 6th year, Harvest for Students Week is celebrated at schools and colleges across the Commonwealth. It gives school food services an opportunity to showcase (or try!) local foods, it supports local agriculture, and it’s a great way to kick off the school year.Harvest for Students Week taste-test

Corn shucking, daily intercom announcements about local cafeteria offerings, farmers markets at school, a food-themed artwork contest, serving items from school gardens, inviting farmers and legislators to lunch, and a harvest potluck dinner are only a handful of the activities planned for this year. Stop by our website for more ideas and resources, including recipes, an activity guide, a sample press release, and promotional materials.

At the Mass. Farm to School Project we’re working to make every day in cafeterias and dining halls across the state Food Day. We facilitate sustainable purchasing relationships between schools and farms to increase local produce being fed to our students and to ensure that farming remains a viable enterprise in Massachusetts. And we, along with many other wonderful organizations, are promoting and providing local food and agriculture education for students.

Local food for Harvest for Students WeekWhen the Project began there were only a handful of districts interested in purchasing local products, and very few farms interested in selling. There are now more than 200 public school districts reporting that they preferentially purchase local products, more than 50 colleges saying the same, and more than 100 local farms supplying them all!

The growth in locally grown products in schools has been overwhelming and, while there’s still plenty of work to be done, it’s something that we should celebrate during Harvest for Students Week, Food Day, and throughout the year. Check out our website for ideas, to find out how other schools and colleges will be celebrating, and to let us know what you’re doing. And plan a celebration of your own for Harvest for Students Week and Food Day!

The Food Project Embodies the Spirit of Food Day

Youth at The Food Project

Youth meet in a field at The Food Project’s farm on West Cottage Street in Boston’s Dudley neighborhood. Photo copyright Greig Cranna.

There’s something inspiring about seeing long straight rows of collard, kale and Swiss chard growing in the heart of Boston’s Dudley neighborhood.  I admit that I clap at the sight of a single pea shoot coming up in my garden, but I defy anyone not to smile when they see The Food Project’s 1.4 acre pastoral paradise on West Cottage Street.

The Food Project is a nonprofit organization based in Boston and Lincoln, Mass. that seeks to create personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. It produces, sells, and donates healthy food; provides youth leadership opportunities, and promotes social justice.

Setting up for the lunch

The Food Project prepares to serve a feast made from their garden.

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in one of The Food Project’s community lunches at the West Cottage Street site. Community members, supporters, and Food Project youth interns were seated at long tables in the field to enjoy a gourmet lunch and hear the youth talk about their experiences.

The Food Project’s primary crop–youth–is far more valuable—and lasting—than the delicious heirloom tomatoes they grow. In addition to sustainable farming, teenagers at The Food Project learn about selling food at farmers markets, distributing it to food banks, and cooking healthy, delicious meals. They also get opportunities to supervise volunteers, do public speaking, and learn about food policy and food justice issues. Unlike many other settings, the youth who are involved in The Food Project’s programs actually get paid for their work.

By recruiting both urban and suburban youth and having them work together in mixed teams that alternate between the urban and suburban/rural settings, The Food Project exposes teenagers to people and places they may not otherwise encounter.

One reason that I’m passionate about promoting local food, gardening and sustainable farming is that they have the potential to unite us across ages, classes, races, ethnicities, cultures and countries. But building communities across these boundaries takes more than just sprinkling a few seeds in the ground; they have to be cultivated. Over the past two decades, The Food Project has developed its own methodology for how to build mutual understanding among diverse groups and it offers resources and trainings for those who want to learn more about their successful model.

Interns at The Food Project

A group of The Food Project interns–Judy, Colleen, Anthony, and Eva–gather just before the start of lunch.

Volunteer chefs—the day I visited, they were from EVOO (evoo is an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil), an upscale restaurant in Kendall Square that features organic, local and sustainable ingredients—work with the youth to prepare a buffet of healthy, delicious dishes featuring the foods grown on site. Lucky for me, it was a pescovegetarian feast: smoked salmon was the only non-vegetarian ingredient on the menu. If The Food Project ran a restaurant, I’d be a frequent eater.

In addition to their youth work, The Food Project also runs a variety of other programs, such as helping families and groups build raised bed gardens, providing reduced price produce to low-income families, running a CSA and selling at Farmers Markets, offering cooking and gardening workshops, working with schools and community centers, and serving as a national model for communities that want to start similar programs.

The Food Project is one of the many Massachusetts organizations, farms, restaurants and community members involved in planning activities for Food Day on October 24. Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. To learn more about The Food Project’s plans for Food Day, visit their blog, or keep checking the Massachusetts Food Day website.

And if you’re looking for inspiration beyond Food Day, check out the volunteer opportunities at The Food Project.  Because every day should be Food Day.