World PEAS Food Hub
The World PEAS Food Hub aims to build long term economic self-reliance and food security among farmers in eastern Massachusetts and their communities, and to expand access of healthy and culturally appropriate foods in underserved areas through production of locally-grown foods.
World PEAS differentiates its services through its food access work. Many low-income residents in the areas we serve are food insecure, meaning that they lack consistent access to food due to a lack of resources (money, geography, etc). Food insecure households are challenged to access affordable, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables that are a necessary component of a healthy diet. Beginning in 2008, World PEAS established a low-income food justice program to ensure equitable access to fresh fruits and vegetables through its Fair Share Program. Learn more about our Fair Share Program (and how you can help!).
World PEAS began as a cooperative in 2005, with the goal to help beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers connect with local consumers seeking fresh produce. Most participating farmers do not have a large enough volume, means of transportation, time, or English language skills to effectively access viable, living wage markets on their own. By forming a cooperative, small, beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers are able to combine their products to more efficiently and effectively connect with local consumers. In June 2013, World PEAS opened a physical warehouse space, transforming the program from a cooperative into a true Food Hub. World PEAS aggregates and distributes vegetables grown by over 30 beginning, immigrant and refugee farmers who use organic growing practices. Additional fruits and vegetables are sourced from farms within 100 miles of Boston that use certified organic practices, as well as farms that use integrated pest management. This produce serves over 400 World PEAS CSA shareholders, local shelters and food banks, schools and institutions, and SNAP-eligible Lowell residents.
The World PEAS Food Hub aims to provide the following services to our program farmers and the greater Boston community:
- Direct market access for farmers, through product aggregation & distribution
- Producer-oriented technical assistance for farmers
- Access to sustainably grown, local fruits and vegetables through the World PEAS CSA
- Ability to connect directly with their farmers, through newsletters, outreach, farm tours, etc.
- Increased access to fresh fruits & vegetables in under-resourced communities, through our Fair Share Program and other food access partnerships.
For more information about the World PEAS Food Hub, read our 2016 Annual Report.
State funds for this project were matched with Federal funds under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Federal funds for this project were awarded under the Local Food Promotion Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.