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.
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".