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Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

Somerville: We’re Partnering With Bootstrap Compost To Reduce Food Waste!

Friday, January 4th, 2013

**Somerville Customers**

Bring your food full circle in the New Year!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Bootstrap Compost to help make it easier to reduce your food waste.

 

boot strap pic for blog

 

Bootstrap Compost is Greater Boston’s only year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service. Partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts hundreds of pounds of organic material from landfills every day.

In the same way that we deliver boxes of fresh farm produce, Bootstrap Compost completes the circle by picking up those kitchen scraps and turning them into nutrient rich compost for farmers, community organizations and customers. That compost then helps crops grow locally, and the cycle continues.

Not only is Bootstrap Compost a sustainable company; they’re our new neighbors in Charlestown!  Naturally, we decided it would be awesome to work together, so we’re kicking off the New Year with a promotion for our Somerville customers.

 

Here’s the scoop:

Receive 2 free food scrap pickups when you sign up for Bootstrap Compost!

Just sign up with the promo code “New Year Promo” at www.bootstrapcompost.com.

*This offer is good through February 3, 2013.

**Must be a Boston Organics customer and live in Somerville to be eligible.

For more information, email bootstrapcompost@gmail.com


Boston Organics and Food For Free: Partnering to reduce waste and hunger in the Boston area

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Jeff Barry and Sasha Purpura
A large part of our mission at Boston Organics is to provide better access to fresh, healthy foods. In honor of Food Day, we want to highlight a key local partnership that helps make this possible.

For roughly 7 years, we have worked with Food For Free to bridge the gap between our leftover produce and hungry people in our neighboring communities.

This morning we had the honor of having Sasha Purpura, the new Executive Director of Food For Free, come by our warehouse to explain what they do and where our produce donations go each week.

What is Food For Free?

The folks at Food For Free rescue fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distribute it to the greater Boston community’s most vulnerable populations. They distribute this leftover food to 82 programs including food pantries, meal programs, emergency shelters, hospitals and clinics, and youth programs in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston.

In 2011, their produce rescue program collected and distributed over 1 million pounds of food! That’s 1 million pounds of food – food that would otherwise go to waste – feeding 25,000 people in the greater Boston community.

Approximately 70% of the food Food For Free distributes is fresh produce. By focusing on providing fresh, nutritious foods rather than junk foods, they are addressing not only short-term hunger, but diet-related disease and other long-term effects of food insecurity and poor nutrition.

Our partnership with Food For Free

Every Monday, Dennis from Food For Free comes by our warehouse to pick up whatever produce we have left over from the previous week. In 2011, these weekly donations added up to a total donation of 26,235 pounds of produce to Food For Free.

Food For Free Truck

Where does our leftover produce go each week?

After Dennis picks up leftover produce from our warehouse in Charlestown on Mondays, the produce then makes its way to some of the following organizations:

  • Haven from Hunger  (Peabody) – A large percentage of our leftover produce goes to Haven from Hunger, an organization in Peabody that provides food to nearly 200 people a week.
  • Youth on Fire  (Cambridge) – The Youth On Fire drop-in center was established in the fall of 2000 to provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for homeless and street-involved youth. YOF has onsite hot meals, clothing, showers, and laundry facilities, as well as weekly medical care, mental health counseling, and referrals to community resources.
  • Breakthrough Cambridge  (Cambridge) – Some of our fruit donations are set aside for youth programs, including Breakthrough Cambridge. Through six years of intensive, tuition-free, out of school time programming, Breakthrough changes students’ academic trajectories and supports them along the path to four-year college.
  • Gately Youth Center  (Cambridge) – The Gately Youth Center offers homework assistance, healthy snacks, leadership development opportunities, sports leagues, arts, community service, and enrichment activities for Cambridge youth. Produce is often used for their cooking classes.
  • Outside the Lines  (Medford) – Outside the Lines Studio is an arts-based alternative day program, collectively run by artists, for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.

We’re so thankful for the hard work that Food For Free and these other community programs are doing to bring healthy foods to the people in our communities who need it most. They are truly creating a more responsible and fair food system by ‘bridging the gap between waste and want.’

To learn more about Food For Free and ways you can help, visit their website.

Food For Free

 

 

My first Blog Ever – Lack of Local Supply and what BO is doing…

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

I am new to blogging and have been having a hard time figuring where to begin. So here I go.

One question we get often is the following…

Why can’t we get all those cool vegetables we see at the farmer’s markets or even local root crops through out the winter?

We’re just as frustrated as you that we don’t have access to an abundant variety of local organic vegetables as well as winter friendly roots like beets, potatoes, parsnips, etc year round. We know you want them, we want to get them for you, and we feel we should be able to get them for you. The problem is that there is only a very limited supply available right now. As small of a company we are, our demand for local organic produce exceeds what our network of growers can provide us.

The current poor state of the local food chain is a result of the modern food economy we have created. Cheap food produced on large-scale farms from far away that can be transported inexpensively destroyed a once flourishing local food economy. The physical logistics connecting growers to their markets have to be rebuilt and reinvented. Knowledge of and infrastructure for root storage has to be re-learned and re-built. Markets for local carrots coming out of storage competing against fresher/nicer looking/cheaper carrots need to be created.

Both eating organically and locally resonate with me on a very basic, emotional level that I call “truths.” It only makes sense that you only want to eat clean food made without the use of synthetic chemicals. For the simple sake of peace of mind, it only makes sense that you want to have access to food grown nearby and not rely on food grown on the other side of the continent. There are so many more reasons why it is important that we support organic and local food production (the local economy, the environment, etc.).

These are some of the motivations why I started Boston Organics, and why I am so excited that I believe we have arrived at a time where we are on the cusp of seeing some significant, positive change about to happen.

Our growers are beginning to see the demand and we are taking steps to increase the supply. We are all very excited about the possibilities and will try our best to get there as quickly as possible. However there are still many challenges and it will take some time.

Steps Boston Organics is taking to get local organic vegetables available to you year round:

1. Pre-Orders to the Growers

First of all, we are only able to do this because of your support. Because you are supporting our model of the “mystery box” and trust us to choose what goes in your box, we are able to offer growers a level of unprecedented commitment that allows them to increase their production significantly.

Because you are willing to sacrifice some control as to what goes in your order, we are able to commit in the winter for the next season’s product. THIS IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL and has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of the business.

2. Build a root cellar?

We are in the early, early, early, dream stage of talking with a few growers about building a root cellar. Building a cellar and growing the vegetables to stock it are only parts of the solution. The growers need to learn about the best practices to ensure that the potatoes and other roots will last into the late spring. Other questions include, will refrigeration/electricity be needed to store the crops? If so how will that impact the economics?

It is an exciting time to be involved in the food business. There is some great momentum happening to make some real positive change to create a sustainable food system. Through your support, I believe Boston Organics can be part of the solution.

Thanks for your support and business.

-Jeff Barry (owner/founder of Boston Organics)