On Thursday night I went to an event called “More Peas Please” which was held at Therese Melden’s home in Manchester. This event brought together two great partners in health and wellness: Northeast Health Systems (Beverly Hospital et al) and The Food Project. These two incredible organizations are combining forces to bring awareness to the growing problem of obesity and poor nutrition in the our community. They are also providing solutions by bringing fresh produce to the people in our community who most need it. On their way to this goal they are bringing together youth and adults from diverse backgrounds to produce healthy food, providing leadership opportunities for youth, and educating and inspiring change.
Beverly Hospital has recently taken on a new initiative in combination with The Food Project, Beverly Bootstraps and the Open Door Pantry. They are actively helping those in need access healthier food through our community based agencies and farmers markets. In addition, they are providing educational opportunities through hospital based programs, the YMCA and others. What a great idea for them to be working with The Food Project (thefoodproject.org), Beverly Bootstraps(beverlybootstrap.org) and the Open Door Pantry(foodpantry.org)! On Thursday, we were there to learn more about The Food Project, but don’t forget Beverly Bootstraps and the Open Door Pantry as we move into the holiday season – there is plenty that you can do to help out.
The Food Project is SO cool! It was founded by Ward Cheney 20 years ago when the Slow Food movement was in its infancy. Since it’s beginning at Drumlin Farms in Lincoln, The Food Project has expanded and now grows and harvests over 200,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables a year! Holy smoke that’s a lot of fruit and vegetables! They donate 50,000 pounds to 17 different hunger relief organizations and have 3000 volunteers helping on 40 acres of farmlands in 5 communities – Beverly, Boston, Ipswich, Lincoln and Lynn. Not only are they walking the talk on sustainability, but they are teaching youth and adults in these communities about growing food, nutrition, leadership, diversity issues and co-operation – this is a project that is accomplishing many goals. Everyone is talking about Slow Food these days, but The Food Project is actually a model of how we can make organic produce available and affordable for those who are most in need of better nutritional options.
It was really neat to meet some of the kids who are on the staff at The Food Project; so enthusiastic and motivated! I could use a little more of that attitude! Chef Paul Booras, Director of Culinary Services for Unidine, Beverly Hospital’s food service put together a few recipes using ingredients from The Food Project. They were delicious! My favorite is the Pesto which is great served on crackers. The Kale and Arugula give it a very nice and nutty flavor. Here’s the recipe courtesy of Chef Paul Booras.
Robin and Lauren