Tag Archives: REC

ACTION ALERT! Support Urban Agriculture in Worcester!

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We Help Make Change in Your Local Food System!

For the past 3 years, we have been working with the City of Worcester on a zoning ordinance that would allow commercial farming in the City of Worcester.

Over the past year, the process has been stalled and community advocates have no longer been included in the development of the policy, or in the process for bringing it to the community.

We asked some of our key partners to start making phone calls to City Hall, and as a result Councilor Rivera asked for the Urban Agriculture Ordinance to be on the agenda at TONIGHT’s City Council meeting – Tuesday, January 31, at 7 p.m.

WE NEED YOU TO COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

How can you do that?

1. Come to Worcester City Hall, 3rd floor for the meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm. Bring a sign if you want! Having extra people in the room shows a lot of support!

2. Come and speak at City Council. Are you an aspiring small farmer? Are you a beekeeper? Are you an avid gardener that might like to sell some of what you grow? Come and share your story! You WILL make a difference!

3. If you can’t come but have something to say, send an email … we can read your remarks. Don’t forget to include your zip code as a City resident.

4. If you can’t come, call your City Councilor and let them know your interest in and support of the ordinance and that you won’t be able to attend the meeting in person, but that you’re supportive.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!

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Food justice in Worcester! REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets roll into action!

From REC:

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The 2nd session of REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets starts on Wednesday, February 1

It runs through Thursday, May 11!

Be sure to stop by one of our stops for any/all of your local vegetable, cage-free egg, grass-fed beef, and other speciality item needs!

WEDNESDAYS:

9-11am: Green Hill Towers
(In the Community Room)
27 Mount Vernon St, Worcester

12-2pm: Family Health Center of Worcester (1st Floor Lobby)
26 Queen St, Worcester

THURSDAYS:

8-10am: Seabury Heights
240-244 Belmont St, Worcester

11am-1pm: The Worcester Senior Center (in the Main Lobby)
128 Providence St, Worcester

Worcester news you can use!

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At the Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square

FREE!

The Worcester Public Library Presents Latin American Group, Los Alter Boys!

A celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
as part of Worcester’s Ethnic Mosaic!

The Worcester Public Library will welcome Los Alter Boys on Tuesday, October 25 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of Worcester’s Ethnic Mosaic.

Los Alter Boys is a Latin American group that has been bringing some of the best sounds to the New England area. The band brings all types of flavor with their diverse cultural background.

Giancarlos Buscaglia is the founder of the group, and will be on guitar and lead vocals. Wilson Vera will play the Puerto Rican cuatro. David Rivera will be on percussion, and Manolo Mairena will join on percussion and lead vocal.

The event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be provided by The Friends of the Worcester Public Library.

This program is administered by the Worcester Arts Council, for the Local Cultural Council – an agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

For more information on the Worcester Public Library and a complete list of events and programs visit mywpl.org.

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Looking good, Chandler Community School – in Piedmont! pic:R.T.

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From REC:

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN…

REC YOUTHGROW HOMEMADE APPLE PIE SALE!

$25 Each!

Buy a Pie, Support YouthGROW!

*PIES MADE WITH LOCAL AND ORGANIC INGREDIENTS*

Every year, YouthGROWers and Food Justice staff lovingly craft handmade apple pies from scratch with organic butter and locally sourced apples.

We thoughtfully freeze them unbaked, which means that not only can you enjoy the freshest and warmest of pies on Thanksgiving Day or whenever you desire, you get the added benefit of being able to pretend you made them yourself.

Your purchase of a delicious apple pie will support youth employment, urban agriculture, and the local food system! By all accounts, our pies are delicious!

And since you’d probably be making or buying a pie for Thanksgiving anyways, you have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!

ORDER YOUR PIE TODAY! VISIT www.recworcester.org/pie-sale

PRIORITY ORDERS BY NOV. 1st*
*optional Vegan crust
GENERAL ORDERS BY NOV. 15th**
**Traditional while supplies last

WANT TO GET YOUR PIE FOR FREE? BE A PIEoneer!

Sell 10 pies and get YOURS for FREE!

VISIT www.recworcester.org/pie-sale to receive instructions, sign up sheets, and other promotional materials to make collecting orders as easy as…pie.

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CALANDRA CHANEY, Volunteer Engagement VISTA

REC is excited to welcome Calandra from Richmond, VA, where she was most recently a family nutrition
educator.

Calandra is also a graduate student in Clark University’s International Development and Social Change program!

Calandra is most excited for the opportunity to work with REC’s farmers markets and gardens and to support the community through her work.

We are so happy to have her here!

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Poet Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché to perform at the Eighth Annual Gregory Stockmal Reading

Celebrated “poet of witness,” Carolyn Forché, will be the featured reader at the Worcester County Poetry Association’s Eighth Annual Gregory Stockmal Reading on Thursday, November 10.

The reading will be start at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Smith Hall, Rehm Library at the College of the Holy Cross (1 College St).

Free to all!

About Carolyn Forché:

Carolyn Forché’s first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour.

She has translated Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice,” and is followed by the 2014 anthology The Poetry of Witness.

In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture. She is currently at work on a memoir.

Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage store open today (Mon.) and Tuesday and every day until 7 p.m. …and REC farmers market TODAY and REC GARDENING WORKSHOPS this week!! … and more!

At Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St. – Worcester

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK!

UNTIL 7 P.M.

COLLEGE STUDENTS: CHECK OUT THEIR VINTAGE MERCHANDISE and … Vinyl, 45s, 33s!!, CDs…musical instruments, too!

BEST PRICES in the city!

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Terrific!!!!!

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REC FARMERS MARKET TODAY AT BRAVER BROOK PARK

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And from the Main South CDC and Central Branch YMCA…

Every MONDAY and THURSDAY!

ZUMBA!!!!

Crystal Park (aka University Park)!

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Be there!

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From ACE …

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FROM REC … This week!!!

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GARDEN PLANNING: SOIL HEALTH & CARBON STORAGE

Tuesday, Sept. 20
6pm
Hector Reyes House
27 Vernon St, Worcester MA

INTERACTIVE CANNING WORKSHOP

Thursday, Sept. 22; 7pm
Stone Soup
4 King St, Worcester MA

PERMACULTURE FILM SCREENING: INHABIT

Friday, Sept. 23; 7-8pm
Stone Soup
4 King St, Worcester MA

ENJOY!!!!! -R.T.

Get ready! Autumn’s almost here! … and … REC Farmers Market – across from Foley Stadium!

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By Edith Morgan

It’s inevitable: every year at this time, it comes upon us, gradually, sometimes almost unnoticed.

But all the signs are there: Already, it’s darker when I wake up, and for the last two nights, I’ve pulled the blankets higher over myself. Driving home from Lincoln Plaza, if I tarry a bit longer, I no longer have to fight the blinding glare of the setting sun.

The calendar says September, but fall is not really due to arrive until after the 21st. The maple tree in front of my house is still green, and there are only a few leaves on the ground, dried up from the lack of rain. But I know it is all coming, soon! I have started to wear long sleeves, and the temperature is perfect for sitting outside, reading, listening to music or just enjoying the passing ”parade” of traffic.

But the most obvious sign is the steady parade of school buses and of children walking with backpacks, adding to the morning and evening “rush.” The neighborhood has suddenly grown quieter, as studying and earlier bedtimes replace the summer games and activities.

Though the calendar says that fall does not officially begin until closer to the end of the month, so many signs come well before that date: not just the start of school and college, but the planning for next year’s garden, checking the heating system, pruning the bushes once more before winter and fully enjoying all the special activities that are particular to this season. We are surrounded by small towns that have great fairs at this time: some are very old and historical, like the Hardwick Fair; some still feature the doings of 4H and offer close contact with what so may of us in the city no longer get to see: real live farm animals, raised lovingly by the latest generation of farmers. (The animals have not changed much, but the technology has!) Time to visit our favorite nature haunts and all our great Worcester Parks!

I am not so dedicated a gardener that I want to put in a last, fast-growing crop of radishes or lettuce; but I do want to dig up some herbs to grow inside for the winter. Somehow, freshly cut herbs have so much more “bang” to them! I‘m getting my fill of tomatoes now, as my friends and children bring us all kinds and sizes, still warm from the sun. I have always felt bad for those who smoke a lot, as their taste buds are so damaged (at least temporarily) that they miss out on the wonderful and varied flavors of the fresh produce available everywhere now.

And, not to bring up unpleasant subjects, this is the time to trim out the great accumulations of unneeded “stuff” that has accumulated over the summer and to make room for winter clothes … bringing plants indoors and carrying out some of my favorite plant experiments, with seeds that have ripened over the summer.

And this year, I won’t make the mistake of planting a lot of bulbs in the fall, as the squirrels and other visitors from the park managed to dig them all up last autumn and eat them all up!

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And don’t forget!

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Grant Park: ribbon cutting at last!

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Late summer bloomers… pic:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

It was touch and go for a little while on Saturday, August 6th: the skies opened up and a sudden shower soaked us as we loaded things into the car at 10 a.m. to take to the picnic at Grant Park. We DID have a rain date set up for Sunday, but a quick phone call to Wini, the moving spirit and co-chair of the Green Hill Neighborhood Association, with Deb Bolz, assured me that the event would go on as planned. And sure enough, the sky cleared, and we proceeded!

This was a long-awaited event, and even though there are still a few pieces missing in the park’s improvements, it was really time to celebrate how far we had come, and how much was already accomplished.

So, at noon, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place – with a large number of Worcester officials and elected officials participating. Our mayor Joe Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus, our District Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, our previous longtime councilor Phil Palmieri, School Committee member John Monfredo, Councilor Kate Toomey, State Representative Mary
Keefe, State Senator Harriette Chandler, newly appointed Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent – and Lt. Governor Karen Polito – (did I omit anyone?) all came to help cut the ribbon and say a few words to the assembled neighbors.

Several of them said: When Wini calls, everyone comes!

And therein lies a story: Although Wini has not lived here all her life, in the time she has been here, she has been an unyielding champion for, and advocate, for her neighborhood, its children and its inhabitants. Noting that there was a great concentration of social service agencies, Wini and Deb invited them to participate in our neighborhood and help in its improvement – and help they did!

Grant Park was for many years just a weed-infested block, with a basketball court at one end, often strewn with litter and drug paraphernalia, pretty much neglected and uncared for.

But Wini, owning a home right across the street from this park, was determined that this park should become a jewel in the area: playground equipment, fencing, retaining walls, benches – all sorts of amenities needed to make this park a gathering place for all ages in this community.

The Regional Environmental Council created garden plots there, and money was appropriated while Phil Palmieri was our city councilor. With constant pressure from Wini and her neighbors, finally a state-of-the art park was created. And this summer it was one of the sites for the city’s summer recreation program, RECREATION WORCESTER.

After the ribbon cutting, the picnic began in earnest: hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, soda, water and various hot dishes and salads as well as Table Talk pies for everyone were in plentiful supply – and lots of volunteers from the area, who passed out food and drinks, set up tables and chairs, and kept everything clean and tidy.

Around the periphery, tables set up by Lt. Annie of the police department, as well as Niko from the election commission giving out voter information, the USDA booth about the Asian longhorned beetle, and other displays to inform neighbors were there.

And for the younger children, Annie Parsnips, the clown, made balloon animals and with the able assistance of neighborhood residents, painted faces.

There is still work to be done at Grant Park, and perhaps by next August, we can celebrate the installation of the lights.

Our thanks to all who contributed, who helped, who attended – who supplied food and music (I am remiss in not having gotten the name of our disc jockey!!). And most of all, thanks to Winifred – Wini – Octave and Debra Bolz, without whose persistence and belief in the goodness of our neighborhood all this would not have been accomplished!

Worcester community news you can use!

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The Family Health Center fair drew hundreds of folks to the Piedmont neighborhood! photos: R.T.

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Kids!!! TODAY!!!!! YAY!!!!

FREE!!!

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We are happy to announce that we are holding free Boston Bruins Alumni Street Hockey Clinics Wednesday August 17 and 24 from 6pm-8pm at the Buffone Rink (Parking Lot).

There is no need to pre-register.

Come out and meet the Bruins Alumni, get a free Bruins Alumni T-shirt and have fun!

Founded by US Olympian and NHL veteran David A. Jensen in 2012, DAJ Hockey is New England’s premier on-ice/off-ice hockey skills training company. DAJ features on-ice hockey skills programs via Boston Bruins Alumni Camps and off-ice skills training at the high-tech DAJ Skills Centers in Foxboro and Attleboro, MA. DAJ also manages street hockey and floorball clinics, camps and leagues throughout New England.

DAJ’s “Hockey in the Streets” program brings the joy of hockey to urban children, who may otherwise not get the opportunity to play the sport!

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Worcester Bands Together To Fight Substance Use!

Upcoming Events Promote Recovery and Healing!

Over the past several years, August and September have been the worst months for opioid-related overdoses in our community and beyond.

In 2014, there was a significant increase in the number of opioid related deaths during the end of the summer.

Since then, the City of Worcester, the Department of Health and Human Services, and our community partners have partnered to respond to the national opioid epidemic – equipping all first responders with life-saving Narcan; training non-emergency city personnel on the use of Narcan; collecting hundreds of pounds of unused prescriptions; instituting the first-ever needle exchange program with AIDS Project Worcester; conducting training for medical professionals on the dangers of overprescribing pain medication; and working to alert the public to the dangers of addiction.

The City of Worcester continues to collect unused prescription drugs at a dropbox at Worcester Police Department Headquarters and at all neighborhood watch meetings.

“Battling the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the city, and it’s a battle we intend to win,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “From responding to overdoses, public education about addiction and recovery, From prevention to treatment to recovery, the City and our community partners are going all-in to fight this epidemic.”

Overdose Recognition and Response Training

The Worcester Police Department will offer free training for the public on how to recognize and intervene during an opioid overdose using nasal Narcan.

This training event will take place at 5:30 p.m. August 23 at the Worcester Public Library.

Worcester DPH encourages health care providers, substance abuse treatment service providers, first responders, and the public to exercise increased vigilance in promptly identifying suspected overdose victims and taking appropriate action.

The Good Samaritan Law provides protection to people who respond to an overdose and call 911.

The law is intended to encourage people to report drug overdoses as soon as possible, even if drugs are present at the scene.

AIDS Project Worcester’s Overdose Prevention and Narcan distribution program provides free Narcan to those who are likely to witness an overdose.

Learn to Cope, which has a chapter in Worcester, also provides free Narcan to family members of those with a substance use disorder.
Narcan is also available for purchase at CVS and Walgreen’s Pharmacies in the City of Worcester.

Overdose Awareness Day with a Candlelight Vigil:

The Worcester Department of Health and Human Services, along with our community partners will honor International Overdose Awareness Day, with a candlelight vigil and an addiction and recovery awareness campaign at 5:30 p.m. August 31 at the Worcester Common.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. There will be an opportunity for people to receive information and referral to services for addiction and recovery.

The event will provide an opportunity for the public to express sorrow while also raising awareness on the actions needed to provide more services for recovery and improve understanding of the opioid abuse epidemic.

Participation is free.

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Get yourself outdoors – to one of the many beautiful Worcester parks/green spaces…

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Every 3 1/2 hours, someone dies in a house fire.

With the goal of reducing home-fire related fatalities by 25%, the American Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in residential homes across the nation.

In Massachusetts, the Red Cross will install up to 2 photo-electric and one dual (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms, as well as one carbon monoxide detector.

If you are a Massachusetts resident and would like to request a free smoke alarm installation, please call 1-800-746-3511**

* Southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands are experiencing a significant backlog

**please self-identify as a military attached household if applicable (military, military family member, National Guard, veteran)

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The Worcester Public Library Presents
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program with Rick Morin

Thursday, August 18

2 p.m.

The Worcester Public Library will be hosting the Rick Morin and The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program on Thursday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Program 2016.

The interactive drumming program will be held in the Children’s Room at the Worcester Public Library, and is free and recommended for children ages 5-12.

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Go, lil’ drummer girl, go!!!

About The Rhythm Room:
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program by Rick Morin explores world music as it relates to today’s pop culture, combining discussion, demonstration and participation. The use of world percussion, drum set, buckets and exploring percussion from objects and one’s own body (clapping, stomping, etc.) is educational as well as motivational and fun. Rick will explain the execution of hand motion to bring out the proper voice of each drum and demonstrate how a percussionist can tell a story with rhythm and theatrical flair.

About Rick Morin:
Rick Morin is the creator and director of the The Rhythm Room, an all-original ten member band. He also developed The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program. Morin is a freelance drummer/percussionist. In 2006 he was awarded the Kathleen McKiel Memorial Award from the North Attleboro Cultural Council for his contributions to the Arts. Morin is an endorsed percussionist by LP, Sabian, REMO, and Vic Firth.

The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program is part of the Summer Reading Program at the Worcester Public Library. The theme for the 2016 program is “Wellness, Fitness, and Sports” – with loads of free programs being offered through August 20 at the Main Library and all branches.

Participants are eligible for prizes for reading and participating in programs. All ages are invited to sign up for summer reading at mywpl.org or at any library location until August 20.

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And don’t forget! Rolling into your neighborhood TODAY! THE REC MOBILE FARMERS MARKET – AKA THE PRETTY BLUE VAN CAN! See schedule, below…

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Go, Jimmy, go!!!! … McGovern Kicks Off Summer Meals Tour For Low-Income Students in Central Mass

NEXT MONDAY, JULY 18!!!

McGovern Kicks Off Summer Meals Tour For Low-Income Students in Central and Western Massachusetts

Congressman Jim McGovern will kick off his third annual Summer Food Rocks Tour next Monday to highlight USDA’s national Summer Food Service Program and how it helps ensure that low-income students in Massachusetts do not go hungry during the summer months when school is out of session.

This year’s tour includes visits to Worcester, Athol, Turner Falls, Ware and Webster.

As part of Congressman McGovern’s third annual tour, he will lead a roundtable with state and local leaders to talk about how the summer food program helps communities in need and visit summer meals sites at schools across the region.

Joining Congressman McGovern on the day-long tour will be:

· Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

· Kurt Messner, USDA Northeast Regional Administrator Food and Nutrition Service

· Candice Stoiber, USDA Northeast Region Director Special Nutrition Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service

· Rob Leshin, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Acting Director of the Office for Nutrition Programs

The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites. Full info on Monday’s tour is below:

7:45AM – 8:10AM in ATHOL

Congressman McGovern; Julianna Valcour (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed); and Orange School Committee Leaders

Congressman Assists With Breakfast Service to Students

Athol High School, 2363 Main Street, Athol

8:40AM – 9:15AM in TURNER FALLS

Congressman McGovern; Julianna Valcour (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed); and Gill and Montague Regional School Leaders

Congressman Assists With Breakfast Service to Students

Unity Park, 7 First Street, Turner Falls

10:10AM – 11:15AM in WARE

Congressman McGovern; Ellen Parker (Project Bread Executive Director); Julie Wayman (Project Bread Child Nutrition Outreach Director); Christina Maxwell (Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Programs Director); Abby Getman (Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Planning and Advocacy Coordinator); Simca Hoorwitz (Eastern Massachusetts Director of the Massachusetts Farm to School); Ware Town Administrator Stuart Beckley; MA State Senator Anne Gobi

Summer Food Rocks Tour Roundtable Discussion

Ware Junior and Senior High School, 237 West Street, Ware

11:15AM – 11:45AM in WARE

Congressman McGovern; Amy Socolow (Summer Food Service Consultant – MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed.); MA State Senator Anne Gobi, Ware Town Administrator Stuart Beckley; and Ware School Committee Leaders;

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Kaziol Elementary School, 4 Gould Road, Ware

12:35PM – 1:00PM in WEBSTER

Congressman McGovern, Amy Socolow (Summer Food Service Consultant – MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed.); MA State Rep. Joseph McKenna; and Webster School Committee

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Park Avenue Elementary School, 58 Park Avenue, Webster

2:40PM – 3:10PM in WORCESTER

Congressman McGovern; Donna Lombardi (Worcester Public Schools Director of Nutrition); Jean McMurray (Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director); Liz Sheehan Castro (Worcester County Food Bank Director of Advocacy); Martha Assefa (Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council); and Frances Canning (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Review Coordinator for Special Nutrition Programs)

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Burncoat Preparatory School Playground, 526 Burncoat Street, Worcester

3:25PM – 4:00PM in WORCESTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern; Frances Canning (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Review Coordinator for Special Nutrition Programs); Jean McMurray (Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director); Liz Sheehan Castro (Worcester County Food Bank Advocacy Director); and Martha Assefa (Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council)

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Girls Inc., 125 Providence Street, Worcester

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Jim works closely with REC. REC FARMERS MARKETS and REC Mobile Farmers Market blue van ACCEPT SNAP, WIC … ALL families can eat well! Times and places:
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Rec mobile farmers market blue van! pic: R.T.

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Always in style – REC Farmers Markets! – for a healthier Worcester! SNAP accepted!

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Double your purchase for the price, Worcester working families!

Only at the REC farmers markets and REC mobile farmers market van. IN EVERY WOO NEIGHBORHOOD. Check schedules below!

REC farmers markets welcome all people, of all economic classes!

ALL FARMERS MARKETS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ACCEPT SNAP. The government pays the vendor/farmer. Markets that don’t accept SNAP, especially in the inner city, are prejudiced against poor people (many of them immigrants and people of color). The coordinators of the non-SNAP farmers markets won’t admit this, but they don’t accept SNAP because they do not want their farmers markets to be flooded with poor people, people who don’t fit the “right” demographic, people who won’t create the “right” kind of shopping experience. A kind of economic and racial red lining occurs. Not illegal – just not very ethical and … kinda phony … creepy. NOT building a healthy Worcester for all! For the 21st century!

You want racial and economic DIVERSITY?

Patronize REC FARMERS MARKETS!

pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

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Flowers are sold at REC farmers markets!