Work with businesses and labor to target entry level food system workers in a wide variety of jobs (including farm workers, home health aides, school cafeteria workers, food servers, convenience and bodega store clerks and others) for education and training that provides for pathways out of poverty and supports professional advancement.
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 Friends of the Homeless
Friends of the Homeless (FOH) in Springfield provides critical services, including serving over 150,000 meals every year. FOH serves three meals a day, seven days a week. Their licensed kitchen operates 365 days a year. On a typical day, 180 dinners are served. FOH operates with the support of dedicated partners and hundreds of volunteers. Food is donated by Project Bread and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, with frequent truck deliveries from Rachel’s Table and Performance Food Group.
The kitchen director is highly creative and adaptable, incorporating unexpected food deliveries into nutritious, culturally-appropriate, and delicious meals. The commercial kitchen also doubles as a training center, teaching skills and providing jobs to clients. Over the long term, Executive Director Bill Miller would like to forge new partnerships with local food producers, increasing the offerings of local fresh food and supporting local businesses at the same time.
Related Actions: Inputs 1.3.1, Inputs 1.3.2, Inputs 1.3.3, Inputs 1.3.4, Inputs 1.3.5, Inputs 1.3.6, Inputs 1.3.7, FASH 6.1.1, FASH 6.1.2, FASH 6.1.3, FASH 6.1.4, FASH 6.2.1, FASH 6.2.2, FASH 6.2.3, Workforce 1.6.2
Image courtesy of Lucas Mulder
Entering the kitchen, your senses might first be filled with the spiced aroma of Fresh Food Generation’s jerk chicken sauce. But at CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK) it’s not just about the food – it’s also about the people. As foods are chopped, cooked, baked, and canned, CWK is hatching and growing culinary businesses and jobs, working to strengthen the local economy and build our local food system, particularly for people who experience racial, economic and social inequality.
Over 50 food businesses are currently using the kitchen, employing over 125 people, and are being connected to business development training and tools through CWK and its partner organizations. CWK also offers full-time, permanent employment to residents in its surrounding neighborhoods where long-term disinvestment has led to limited economic opportunities and to poverty. Since opening in 2009, CWK has launched 85 businesses and spurred creation of over 400 local jobs. CommonWealth Kitchen is causing a ripple effect, supporting viable culinary jobs and businesses in its kitchen and in the greater food system, and spurring reinvestment in communities.
Related Actions: Processing 3.1.1, Processing 3.1.2, Processing 3.1.3, Processing 3.1.4, Processing 3.1.5, Processing 3.2.1, Processing 3.2.2, Processing 3.2.3, Processing 3.2.4, Processing 3.2.5, Processing 3.2.6, Processing 3.2.7, Processing 3.2.8, Processing 3.2.9, Processing 3.2.10, Processing 3.3.1, Processing 3.3.2, Processing 3.3.3, Processing 3.3.4, Processing 3.3.5, Processing 3.3.6, Processing 3.3.7, Workforce 1.6.2
Image courtesy of North Shore Community College
North Shore Community College (NSCC) has developed the Agriculture and Food Service Career Pathway for students interested in professions in the food system. Participating students can select from certificates and degrees in several fields including Environmental Horticulture, Culinary Arts & Foodservice, Hospitality & Tourism, Dietary Manager, Nutritional Science & Dietary Technology, and Food Science & Safety. Incorporating all of these degree options into one pathway provides students with an opportunity to understand the relationship among the various career fields, and see true farm to table in action.
NSCC works openly with the local community and business advisory boards for each program to gain vital input in tailoring the program to industry needs and identify opportunities for students seeking advanced degrees. As it adapts its programming, NSCC is considering expanding into aquaponics, vertical gardening, and urban farming.
Related Actions: Processing 3.3.1, Processing 3.3.2, Processing 3.3.3, Processing 3.3.4, Processing 3.3.5, Processing 3.3.6, Processing 3.3.7, Workforce 1.1.1, Workforce 1.6.1, Workforce 1.6.2, Workforce 1.6.3
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