Provide public support to farmers markets to market local foods and expand the number of Massachusetts residents consuming local food.
MFSC regularly updates Action items with information about related projects, organizations, legislation, news, and other activities. If you have a suggestion for an update, please email Director Winton Pitcoff.
Image courtesy of The Food Project
Ten years ago The Food Project, a non-profit organization that engages youth in positive change, started growing food in Lynn with young people from the city and surrounding communities. At the time, there was little to no gardening space or local food available to low-income residents in this Gateway city.
With teens leading the way, the city is now a hotspot for local, culturally appropriate foods grown in and around the city. The weekly farmers market attracts new immigrants and long-standing residents who are able to use SNAP benefits to purchase foods from their heritage. Local farmers have responded to local needs by offering specialty responded to local needs by offering specialty crops including corn fronds that had not previously been brought to market.
The Youth leaders are working with other teen groups to bring more fresh and healthy food into the city and coordinating closely with the Lynn Board of Health, community groups, and public agencies.
Image courtesy of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Bessie Tsimba came to the U.S. from Zimbabwe in 1988, and now has a successful vegetable farm in Harvard, thanks to access to resources, equipment, and the Farm Business Planning Course, all offered by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. She grows crops for New Entry's CSA, as well as crops native to Africa to sell to friends in her community. New Entry's Farmland Matching Service helped her find her one-acre plot in Harvard, where she is in her third year of growing.
Education and technical assistance such as those provided by New Entry and a host of other organizations in Massachusetts can make all the difference for aspiring farmers like Tsimba.
Image courtesy of Nuestras Raices
Nuestras Raices is a 23-year-old urban agriculture and economic justice organization founded by the Latino community in Holyoke. The organization supports a network of 13 community gardens and a 30-acre urban farm dedicated to cultivating, sharing and selling the treasured cultural crops beloved by Latino families.
Youth development, microenterprise support, farm to school, and cultural crops are all focuses for Nuestras Raices. The organization is launching the first culturally-based school food operation in a local charter school, using the USDA national school lunch program, recruiting and training 100 new Latino cultural crop farmers, expanding greenhouses, and improving their cultural agritourism farm site.
Image courtesy of www.tropicalfoods.net
Tropical Foods is more than a supermarket – it’s a community institution. An independent grocery store that has been family run for more than 50 years, Tropical Foods is a bedrock in the transitioning community of Dudley Square – employing 100 local people, some for over 14 years, with continued training and growth opportunities.
Tropical Foods sources their products from Massachusetts whenever possible, and focus on providing fresh and healthy foods that are culturally familiar to their Latin American, Asian, and African customer base from nearby neighborhoods.
Related Actions: Distribution 1.3.1, Distribution 1.3.2, Distribution 1.3.3, Distribution 1.3.4, FASH 7.4.1, FASH 7.4.2, FASH 7.4.3, FASH 7.4.4, FASH 7.5.1, FASH 7.5.2, FASH 7.5.3, FASH 7.5.4, Workforce 1.1.1, Workforce 1.1.2, Workforce 1.1.3, Workforce 1.1.4, Workforce 1.1.5, Workforce 1.2.1, Workforce 1.2.2, Workforce 1.3.1, Workforce 1.3.2, Workforce 1.3.3, Workforce 1.3.4, Workforce 1.4.1, Workforce 1.4.2, Workforce 1.4.3, Workforce 1.4.4, Workforce 1.4.5, Workforce 1.4.6, Workforce 1.4.7, Workforce 1.4.8, Workforce 1.5.1, Workforce 1.6.1, Workforce 1.6.2, Workforce 1.6.3, Workforce 1.7.1, Workforce 1.7.2, Workforce 1.7.3, Workforce 1.7.4, Workforce 1.7.5, Workforce 1.8.1, Workforce 1.8.2, Workforce 1.8.3