Spotlight on: Pine Street Inn, and our new partnership!

Click to see more gorgeous photos of our Pine Street Inn partnership in Suzanne Kreiter's photo feature in The Boston Globe. (Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)Click to see more gorgeous photos of our Pine Street Inn partnership in Suzanne Kreiter's photo feature in The Boston Globe. (photo ©Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe)
We want to introduce you to our new partnership with Pine Street Inn! It's gotten a lot of press lately: For nearly 50 years, Pine Street Inn has been welcoming homeless men and women and offering housing, food, and job training. For 25 years, Food For Free has run a small farm program, Field of Greens, distributing the produce throughout our 120+ partner agencies Last winter, Food For Free and Pine Street Inn cooked up a new idea: What if our small farm grew produce especially for Pine Street Inn and their specific needs? We've now completed the 2016 growing season, partnering with Pine Street every step of the way, and it's been a resounding success! Why? Four major reasons:

Quantity: 2,000 meals a day

Pine Street Inn prepares and serves 2,000 meals every day. "One dinner requires about 300 pounds of vegetables, just for one meal,” reports Executive Chef Frank Van Overbeeke. With Food Rescue, we can't promise what type of vegetables we'll have on any given day, or how much of each kind, but with the new Field of Greens partnership, we can offer predictable, large quantities of specific vegetables.

Quality: frozen to fresh

“We really don’t have a budget to get fresh produce...before we received food from Food For Free, we had to use frozen vegetables,” explained Chef Frank on WCVB’s Urban Update. Vegetables harvested from Field of Greens are typically delivered same-day, so they are fresh, tasty, and extra nutritious.

Job training: building food prep skills

As Pine Street Inn’s Lyndia Downie shared recently on WGBH radio, “We have a catering program, a social enterprise that we run, trying to get people jobs as they’re leaving homelessness. As Chef Frank explained on Urban Update: “There’s not a lot you can do with [frozen vegetables]: you put it in a pan, you steam it, and serve it. When we receive the fresh produce from Food For Free, it allows us to instruct our trainees on different techniques for how to slice the product, how to cook the product, how to be creative.”

Appropriateness: food that’s the right fit

“We were able to target every single crop to their menu,” said Sasha Purpura on WCVB's 5 for Good. Chef Frank was able to ask for vegetables that work best for his menu and team of trainees: “We’ll look at what we’ve got and say, ‘What do you guys think we can do with this? What did your mom used to do with this?’”

How to get involved:

Learn more about Pine Street Inn’s incredible work, and help grow the produce we provide for Pine Street Inn by volunteering on our farm.
Click to see more gorgeous photos of our Pine Street Inn partnership in Suzanne Kreiter's photo feature in The Boston Globe. (photo ©Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe)***For use by Food for Free internal promotion only*** Lisa Edwards, an iCater trainee in the Pine Street Inn kitchen, prepares the scallions. (Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)

Check out the rest of our Fall Newsletter!

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