Two tons of holiday cheer from Boston

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

 

Ten Minutes To Parks

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.

Continue reading “Ten Minutes To Parks”

Tree Time in Bushnell Park

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.

Continue reading “Tree Time in Bushnell Park”

Growing Instead of Mowing in Hartford’s Parks

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.

Continue reading “Growing Instead of Mowing in Hartford’s Parks”