We all get by with a little help from our friends, and here in Hartford, we have some good friends up near Boston! Fair Foods, a Dorchester-based non-profit organization, recently brought more than two tons of surplus food from Boston’s wholesalers to Bloomfield’s Foodshare just in time for Thanksgiving. The dedicated staff and volunteers from Fair Foods made the deliveries on their days off, and we’re exceptionally grateful for their kindness during this holiday season.
Since 1988, Fair Foods has rescued and delivered millions of pounds of fresh produce and building supplies to residents in need across New England and beyond. Nancy Jamison founded the organization after seeing a truckload of carrots that could have fed her whole neighborhood go to the dump. She thought that something must be done, and has been growing an organization devoted to food justice ever since.
Their signature program is Two Dollars a Bag, which provides 12 pound bags of mixed fresh produce and treats like Kind bars, fresh hummus and mozzarella in exchange for a suggested donation of just two dollars. Their philosophy of “Dignity of a Dollar” is unique – they do not require income requirements or ID checks for the hunger relief, no questions asked. They will provide the food to anyone who asks, with the goal of stretching people’s grocery money further to provide healthier meals for everyone. The organization’s program operates five days a week at twenty sites in churches, schools, and public housing and senior centers in the Boston area. They also rescue surplus lumber and building supplies and bring them to organizations like schools and VFW halls, and individuals, and provide support for those in need of diabetic shoes.
Foodshare and Fair Foods share the same vision of a community free from hunger and food insecurity, making them regional neighbors, and natural partners. They have collaborated since this September when Kim Owens of Fair Foods visited the Hartford Advisory Commission on Food Policy to share information on their programs. The partnership has led to great success for all those involved. Foodshare reported that they received a total of 5,154 pounds of food from Fair Foods over the month of November, which equates to 4,295 meals! The two November deliveries of onions, pumpkin, squash, and lettuce added all the right stuff to every holiday menu.
Foodshare is the Greater Hartford region’s regional food bank since 1982, providing a liaison between the food industry and over 300 programs like community kitchens, emergency shelters and food pantries across the region. Learn more about what you can do to help the Foodshare program and about Fair Foods.
Featured Image: Fair Foods Sign; Photo Courtesy of FairFoods