7th Annual Slow Food Gala To Be Held at Holy Cross
Friday, October 04, 2013
“Essentially it’s a slow food gala as opposed to fast food,” said Steven Fischer, Executive Director of the REC. “When we know where the food comes from, who grew it, that it was grown and processed in a way that is environmentally sustainable and that treats folks fairly by giving them a living wage; it feels better to eat it knowing that the way it came to you was in line with your values.”
The REC was founded in 1971 and is the largest and oldest environmental justice organization in Central Massachusetts. Their mission, said Fischer, is to bring people together to create healthy, sustainable communities in Worcester and beyond. They focus on environmental issues, especially those affecting urban environments.
Promoting Sustainability Throughout Worcester
Its key programs include UGROW and YouthGROW, as well as a travelling “VeggieMobile” and almost daily farmers’ markets throughout the spring, summer, and fall. These programs build community around environmental justice issues, and increase access to healthy, affordable food.
UGROW (Urban Garden Resources of Worcester) is a network of more than sixty community and school gardens throughout the city. YouthGROW (Youth Growing Organics in Worcester) is a program that employs 32 low-income urban teenagers, teaches them how to plant and grow organic vegetables, which they then sell at REC’s farmers’ markets which are held six days a week from June to November.
The group also hosts an annual Earth Day cleanup, which involved more than 1,500 volunteers and collected more than 50 tons of trash last year alone, said Fischer. The “VeggieMobile” make 16 stops a week, bringing fresh food to the neighborhoods most in need.
Fischer said the upcoming gala is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, and that proceeds will benefit all of its programs. The event is open to public, and tickets are on sale until October 9. Tickets cost $95 for nonmembers, and $75 for members.
“It’s an opportunity to enjoy the company of warm-hearted, like-minded folks who care about making a difference in their community,” Fischer said.
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