Happy Holidays, Hartford! Did you know that, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, Americans produce five million more pounds of food waste than at other times of the year? On an annual basis, 40% of food goes to waste. If just 1/3 of our nation’s annual waste was redirected instead of tossed out, we could solve food insecurity across the country and here at home. Continue reading “Tips for Planning a Zero Food Waste Holiday”
We should all celebrate the publication of Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation, which draws lessons from the Urban Bird Treaty.
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. To learn more about what you can do to help the Foodshare program, visit this link. To learn more about Fair Foods, click here.
Featured Image: Fair Foods Sign; Photo Courtesy of FairFoods
Special thanks to University of Hartford student Rachel Rosa for designing the new logo of the Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative! Continue reading “Unveiling our New Logo!”
Everyone deserves a park within a 10-minute walk from home. Parks are an essential element of urban life, providing residents with a safe place to exercise, socialize, or just unwind. Green spaces beautify and cool neighborhoods and improve the overall quality of life for all.
Hartford’s Keney Park and the Keney Park Sustainability Project (KSPS) were featured in the National Association For Olmsted Parks (NAOP) Fall Newsletter. Continue reading “Keney Park Featured In NAOP’s Fall Issue”
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, consider visiting your local farmers’ market to find some great fresh produce for your holiday spread.
Check out this video about the launch of the Climate Action Plan, directed by CCSU student Wojciech Muszynski!:
Trees are invaluable additions to our community. They provide shade, which cool our buildings and neighborhoods and reduce energy costs. They remove various pollutants, improving our air and water quality. Trees also capture stormwater runoff, reduce noise pollution, and increase property values. Based on these qualities, Hartford’s trees provide over $300,000 in services each year. In acknowledgment of the indispensable services trees provide, we’d like to share and recognize one of the city’s most incredible tree havens: Bushnell Park.
Have you noticed areas in our parks that look like they have not been mowed in a while? Low mow zones are planted with meadow plants instead of traditional turf, saving valuable staff time and money on lawn maintenance while absorbing runoff and providing habitat for wildlife. They reduce usage of fuel and equipment, which in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions, protects the atmosphere and saves money.