Gov. Brainard visits Boston for regional food systems tour
Advancing economic and financial security for lower income communities
Federal Reserve Banks across the country are holding a series of meetings focused on local efforts to support regional food systems, building on the release of Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities, a Federal Reserve System publication that explores the community and economic development potential of investing in regional food systems. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard visited the Boston Fed on Nov. 15 to attend one such meeting, hosted by the Bank. Gov. Brainard also met with local organizations that are bringing resources and expertise to their communities.
Harvesting Opportunity is a result of a collaborative effort between the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to better understand consumers’ increasing interest in where their food comes from and how their food dollars can provide greater support for local food-related businesses. Through this work, the partners learned regional food systems have the potential to promote economic growth for rural and urban communities through the creation of new or enhancement of existing jobs, and can advance the economic and financial security of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households and communities.
“Certain communities in New England—whether inner city, rural, or small city—are not faring as well as others,” said Boston Fed Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer Prabal Chakrabarti. “There are stresses which create a need for better jobs and opportunities for people living in these places. The Boston Fed is focused on advancing efforts to provide meaningful, quality jobs for lower- income households, and Governor Brainard’s visit helped to highlight those opportunities in a sector that is growing in New England.”
Gov. Brainard and Boston Fed officials visited two organizations located in Dorchester, a large, diverse community within Boston to learn about on-the-ground efforts to achieve community and economic development goals.
The first stop was the Urban Farming Institute of Boston (UFIB) and their farming and training sites. Gov. Brainard met with leadership of UFIB, several farmers who work for the organization, recent apprentices, alumni of their farmer training program, and other key stakeholders. They discussed how UFIB’s work expands economic opportunity and invigorates communities through locally-focused urban farming.
Later in the day, Gov. Brainard visited CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK), a shared commercial kitchen facility and commissary, where she met with leadership of the organization, food entrepreneurs that started their businesses through CWK, researchers, and several partner organizations. Leaders from CWK discussed their work to support food entrepreneurs and to build markets for their partners.