SOMERVILLE- On December 4th, 2012, a diverse group of community leaders gathered outside of St. Benedict's Parish to celebrate the installation of a walk-in refrigerator that will help provide fresh produce for clients of Project SOUP. The installation of this refrigerator was the solidification of a dream over four years in the making. The idea to purchase a refrigerator that would store perishable food for those in need began when the Tisch College at Tufts University sent out a request to non-profit organizations that were addressing various social crises.
The Somerville Homeless Coalition partnered with a community health class at Tufts to research the issue of food access in Somerville. They began learning more about the prevalence of the issue by conducting surveys and interviews, and created a Community Action Board to come up with concrete ways to solve this problem.Through a conversation at a Community Action Board meeting, Michelle Holcomb, the Development Director for Food for Free, spoke about the need for fresh, nutritious food for everyone, and the idea of purchasing a walk-in cooler to store it was born.
It took two years of research, fundraising, and financial support from the Tisch College a philanthropy class at the Experiential College, both at Tufts, the Somerville Health Agenda, the Eaton Vance Management Company, and many other donors to make their dream a reality.Yesterday afternoon, a group of individuals, brought together by a desire for everyone to have access to healthy food, stood together in front of the materialization of their hard work.
Mayor Curtatone, who spoke at the dedication, praised the work of those gathered, saying "you can't govern a city on your own. You need stakeholders to do the work. We want Somerville to be a place where everyone can live, work, play and raise a family."