Here at the Boston Public Health Commission, we are looking forward to our second annual Food Day celebration on October 24. This year’s theme: “Boston Eats its Greens.”
On Food Day, we will be asking everyone to join us in eating a least one serving of leafy greens. In addition, our many partners across the city will be offering their communities a delicious dish of greens on October 24, as well.
Food Day gives us an opportunity to make sure that we identify ways to encourage even more families, schools, child care centers, hospitals, workplaces, and communities to serve greens and other healthy foods throughout the rest of the year.
Here are a couple examples of the exciting things we’re already doing in Boston to increase access to greens and other fresh produce in city neighborhoods:
- The Dudley Greenhouse, a 10,000 square foot micro-agriculture community structure, was developed as a partnership between The Food Project and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At least ninety community members have gotten involved.
- Over the past three years, 650 backyard and community garden plots have been established in the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.
- The city’s Boston Bounty Bucks initiative provides double value for the use of SNAP at one of 24 farmers markets. In 2011, more than 1,600 low-income customers spent $56,486 in Boston Bounty Bucks incentives and $63,615 in SNAP at farmers markets.
This year on Food Day, we want to make sure local children and families have access to fresh produce. We will be hosting a couple of special events during the week of October 24 to highlight the importance of healthy eating:
- Boston Public Schools will serve fresh greens in some cafeterias as part of the weekly Local Lunch Thursday program.
- ABCD Head Start will be serving greens from local farms to young children, while providing opportunities for parents to learn about preparing greens at home.
- Supermarket tours will provide opportunities for community residents to learn about purchasing quality produce and other foods on a budget, like greens and other vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Our hope is that the healthy and tasty lessons learned during the week of Food Day – combined with our efforts to make fresh, local produce more easily accessible – will help motivate Boston families to eat their greens all year long. See you in the (community) garden!
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Stop by Duluth next time you’re in the midwest!