FIGHTING THE SAME FIGHT
The Fresh Food Generation works with lots of different farmers in the greater Boston area, two of which are headed by nonprofits: Their alma mater The Food Project, and The Urban Farming Institute, which provides farmer training, transforms vacant lots into urban farms, and creates green-collar jobs. “The Urban Farming Institute started around the same time as we did,” Renshaw says. “So it’s been fun to grow together.”
Tristam Keefe, the Farm Enterprise Manager at The Urban Farming Institute, echoes those sentiments. “We wanted to work with them and support them as an organization because we admire what they’re doing,” Keefe says. “Their mission aligns with our own. To have a local business fighting the same fight that we are means a lot, so we’re going to support them as much as we can.”
Like Campbell, Keefe grew up in a Boston neighborhood with limited food access, so he appreciates that Fresh Food Generation is providing good food and jobs for people in those places. “The fact that the people who are remaking this place have roots here, are doing it with the people who are from here, and are making sure that the changes are positive and fair for everyone in the neighborhood is a really good thing.”
Sutton Kiplinger, Regional Director of the Greater Boston Area at The Food Project, agrees.
“We believe that the people who live in the place are the ones who know what it means best to thrive,” she says. “Cassandria and Jackson are incredible alumni and an inspiring example to the young people we employ.”
The Food Project started selling their produce wholesale a few years ago as a way to get more fresh food into resident-owned businesses in the lower income communities. Fresh Food Generation was one of The Food Projects first wholesale customers. “I remember driving the delivery to them that first day and feeling like something was coming full circle,” she says. “Jackson and Cassandria are so committed to doing right by their customers, their employees, and the larger community that they’re a part of. They are the kind of business owners every community needs and deserves.”
Campbell and Renshaw created Fresh Food Generation to help fix a broken food system. Now, with the help of some dedicated urban farmers, a team of passionate employees, and some really tasty jerk chicken, they’re well on their way to doing just that.