Each Host Site in the Boston Food Justice YAV Program is a collaboration between a Presbyterian congregation and one or more community organizations working on food justice issues. This year, the BFJYAVs will contribute their time and talents to a number of churches and community organizations:
People Helping People, The Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation, & Burlington Presbyterian Church
People Helping People, The Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation, and Burlington Presbyterian Church work together to form the Burlington site. People Helping People is a nonprofit committed to meeting the food, medical, and heat/utility needs of Burlington residents. Their food pantry regularly receives donations of fresh produce from The Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation’s Community Garden–one of the organization’s many projects aimed at improving the health of children and families by providing educational opportunities and resources related to food and exercise. The food pantry is also supported by Burlington Presbyterian Church–a faith community that demonstrates their commitment to creation care and community engagement by hosting Farmer Dave’s CSA. The YAV placed at this site will provide local families with nutritious food, develop programs that promote healthy lifestyles, assist with management of the CSA, and provide members of Burlington Presbyterian Church opportunities to engage and explore food justice issues.
The Women’s Lunch Place and the Church of the Covenant
The Women’s Lunch Place provides a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, and other services for women who are homeless or poor. WLP treats women with dignity and respect and fosters a community committed to meeting each woman’s needs. They share a building with their YAV partner, Church of the Covenant, a faith community striving for peace, compassion, justice, and love while journeying in the light of Christ led by God’s grace-filled Spirit. Church of the Covenant is a Christian community bound together by the radical and transformative love of God. The YAV placed at this site will assist with the programmatic needs of WLP, the new herb garden, volunteer management, incorporating food justice material into the COTC worship service, and the church’s response to homelessness.
The Needham Community Council, The Needham Community Farm, and The Presbyterian Church in Needham
The Needham Community Council supports people in Needham who have unmet health, educational, or social needs and promotes volunteerism, community, and a sense of shared responsibility. They provide a number of services including a food pantry, thrift store, ESL tutoring, and medical equipment loans. Since 2008, the Needham Community Council food pantry has received donations of fresh produce from the Needham Community Farm–a local nonprofit dedicated to deepening the community’s connection to nature and the food system by providing farm-based education, increasing access to healthy produce, and encouraging environmental stewardship. The Needham site also includes the Presbyterian Church in Needham–a small congregation with a long history and a strong commitment to worship, Christian education, and fellowship. At the Needham site, the YAV will assist with projects of the Needham Community Council, work at the farm, and help the congregation to explore food justice issues and engage with their community.