Our History

Serving the Boston community since 1988, we have a long history and we are proud of it. Starting as a group of concerned Dorchester neighbors, we have grown to accomplish incredible things.

How We Began

Fair Foods began in 1988 when Dorchester resident Nancy Jamison saw a truck full of carrots driving to the dump. When she asked the driver where they were going and where they came from, she was equally appalled and enthusiastic. She told some neighbors that perfectly good surplus food was being thrown away, so they rounded up some trucks and started picking it up. There was enough free food for everyone to share with families, friends, and neighbors, and Fair Foods was born.

We soon bought trucks, and eventually began rescuing as much as five million pounds of produce annually, distributing it to over eighty sites and organizations in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. As much as we grew, we remained community operated, staffed by a network of hundreds of community volunteers.

Expanding our Action

In 1993, Fair Foods began recycling lumber and building materials under the name of Fair Exchange. In 1994, Fair Exchange delivered over 100,000 gallons of paint to the City of Boston and In 1995, Fair Exchange made possible the repainting of the entire Cleveland Middle School. In 1996, Fair Foods provided over $100,000 worth of lumber and paint (the third year in a row) to Boston�s Project Pride.

Through Fair Exchange, we began Seats of Consciousness in 1996. Seats of Consciousness uses recycled lumber gleaned from pallets and volunteers with knowledge of carpentry to mentor youths and teach them skills by building and marketing decorative park benches.  We expanded this program to inmates in the Middlesex County House of Corrections, where we also started a farming program. Continuing our community outreach,

in 1996 we began Tutor Now, a volunteer based mentoring program that ran for three years. We have always striven to meet the changing needs of our community. In (insert year) we operated a free medical clinic from our Two Dollar a Bag sites, with volunteer doctors from local hospitals. We are proud of our history, and we are always planning how to help next.

Our Future

We have faced our fair share of tough times, but have never failed to get millions of pounds of food to the people who need it. To accomplish our missions, we have always relied on the kindness of friends and strangers. Although we have had help from large volunteer groups such as City Year or Harvard's First Year Urban Program, the bulk of our support comes from everyday citizens who want to make a demonstrable difference. We are always trying to expand our community, reaching out to new volunteers to help us bridge the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots".

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What Can You Do With Your $2 Bag?

The Fair Foods $2 bag items are always a surprise! Since we don’t know what items we will get until the day of, there is not much room for planning. Fortunately, every bag no matter the day is filled with fresh, delicious items. One simple way to prepare these items is a stir-fry! Below is […]

Posted on 22 November 2013 | 5:52 pm

Portion Control

As delicious and satisfying as a heaping plate of food may seem, it is important for all of us to manage our portion to keep us in good health. Believe me, I know how easy it is to eat too much. Our society makes us want everything to be bigger and better. Mega and super […]

Posted on 27 October 2013 | 6:36 pm

Bake…Don’t Fry!

Fried food is tasty. Its salty, fatty, crunchy coating is extremely satisfying when we are hungry. It reminds us of home, family, and friends. It is easy, simple, and cheap. I wish I could tell you that fried food is good for your heart or that it will help you to lose weight, but this […]

Posted on 27 October 2013 | 6:33 pm

Roasted Veggie Stackers

Roasting vegetables in the oven is a fast and easy way to use vegetables when you aren’t sure what to do with them. Roasting brings out a vegetable’s sweetness and juice, and you may be surprised to learn that you like a previously hated veggie when roasted instead of raw or steamed. For this example, […]

Posted on 25 October 2013 | 10:47 am

No-Guilt Banana Ice Cream

Wondering what to do with all of those ripe bananas you just got in your $2 bag? Make ice cream in your very own home!  In just an hour or so, you can have a sweet frozen treat that is cheap, delicious and creamy, and completely healthy. Yes, there is such a thing as healthy […]

Posted on 25 October 2013 | 10:36 am


OMG Avocados!  And by avocados I mean the 116 or so cases of avocados (2900 lbs.) Fair Foods picked up in the past week.  Not only did we have a lot of them, but they were good!  And by good, as those who have tried them can vouch, I mean great!  I have only seen […]

Posted on 15 February 2012 | 9:18 pm

Salad with Chipotle Hummus

  With all the greens, tomatoes and onions we get in our $2 Produce Bags, I’ve been eating a lot of salad!   One of my favorite “dressings’ is acutally hummus and other bean based spreads.  They add a lot of flavor and nutrition to the salad compared to traditional dressings. If you have a food […]

Posted on 6 November 2011 | 5:08 pm

Simple Cilantro Chutney

If you find yourself with an abundance of cilantro from your $2 produce bag, this is a great way use it up!  This will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks and freezes really well.  Add a couple tablespoons to beans, rice, veggies, hummus or anywhere you’d like a little zing.  It’s great […]

Posted on 6 November 2011 | 10:55 am

More $2 bags of Produce!


Posted on 6 November 2011 | 10:47 am

Drink your greens!

  Here’s a simple way to get more greens into your diet! Drink them! For a basic green smoothie you need: 1 frozen banana 2 cups greens (baby spinach, lettuce) or 1 cup baby collards/kale 1 cup water, non-dairy milk or milk Blend until smooth. Make sure to add the liquid to the blender first! […]

Posted on 6 November 2011 | 10:28 am