Building New Bridges
This year, thanks to a generous grant from Adobe Foundation, Gaining Ground has entered into a new partnership with Bridge Boston, a Roxbury charter school where 100 percent of the student population qualify for free lunch. We send weekly distributions of produce to the students, and the students help us as volunteers on the farm.
The partnership began when Hannah, our assistant farm manager, brought her sister, a kindergarten teacher at Bridge Boston, to the farm in 2016. Over the next two years, Hannah was invited to work with her sister’s class. The students loved meeting a farmer and participating in educational activities.
When Guy Koppe joined as the school’s director of food service, the partnership opportunities became even more apparent. A former chef for Project Bread’s student lunch program, Guy was keenly aware of the importance of healthy food for students. Equipped with a commercial kitchen, Guy can easily incorporate our fresh produce into student lunches. He also distributes any excess produce to Bridge Boston families for use at home.
Rounding out this partnership, students from Bridge Boston come to the farm to volunteer. This allows students to give back to their own community while working and learning with our farmers. One student, while busy cleaning zucchinis, was talking happily about bringing the fresh produce to Chef Guy!
“My favorite vegetable was the arugula, it was spicy.”
—Student, shoving handfuls of arugula into her mouth!
“The amount of joy and surprise the children expressed each time they pulled up a carrot top and found the carrot under the dirt was priceless.”
—Elle Thomson, teacher
“Seeing the full circle process of students coming to the farm and helping to plant, pick, and wash produce and then eating those vegetables for lunch has been an exciting experience. Students are eager to get their hands dirty, intrigued by where vegetables come from and how they grow, and feel proud to see those vegetables on their lunch trays at school.”
—Thayer Lawson, teacher