Food for All pitched at BAPA meeting

Food for All, a for-profit business that aims to connect people looking for cheap eats with restaurants that have surplus food, recently gave a presentation at the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (BAPA) meeting at the J-Pizle Kitchen.

The presentation was one of several topics covered during BAPA monthly meeting on Nov. 14. Others topics included the plastic bag ordinance going into effect next month, the JP Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS) Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1, and possible changes to traffic flow on Boynton Street.

Iolanda Dias of Food for All gave a presentation about the mission of the company. She said local restaurants, cafes, and bakeries sometimes have surplus food and there are many people in the area who have food insecurity. “We try to bridge that gap,” said Dias. She said people can use the Food for All app to find meals in the area for at least a 50 percent reduced price.

The company was co-founded by Victor Carreño, Sabine Valenga, and David Rodríguez Sánchez in 2016 after the trio developed the concept in collaboration with Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. They used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create the app.  

The mission statement on the Food for All website says, “Since the beginning we understood that in order to curb food waste we would need much more than a smart and innovative solution; we would need a whole movement that supports our cause. We are excited about what we have mobilized so far, and what moves us everyday is making sure that all of our supporters – restaurants, institutions and users – are recognized and empowered by providing them the right tools against food waste.”

BAPA member Michael Reiskind asked if the meals applied just to take-out or if users sit-down at the restaurants. Dias said that it is just for take-out, as that causes less inconvenience for the businesses.

BAPA member Brad Brown asked how many businesses have partnered with Food for All. Dias replied that the company has a small footprint in New York City, but its main area of operation is in Boston, where currently 110 food businesses participate. She said in JP, three businesses are participating (two farmers markets and a restaurant).

Other topics:

-Brad Brown gave an update on CSMS news and what’s happening in the district. He said the City’s plastic bag ordinance will go into effect on Dec. 14, but it will have a staged implementation, with the City checking compliance with bigger businesses like CVS before smaller ones. He said that there is still a question on the type of bags banned, but that there is a movement trying to get JP plastic free by Small Business Day on Nov. 24. He said his wife Ginger Brown, executive director of CSMS, will be at JP Licks on that day handing out free tote bags.

-Brown also reported back on the Canine Costume Parade, which was held on Oct. 28. It was the 15th anniversary of the parade, had a police escort that allowed the dogs to march right down the street, and a dog dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg won first place. He said that the event, which had 41 dogs participating, raised $520. That money will donated to the City’s Animal Shelter.  

-The CSMS Holiday Stroll will take place on Dec. 1 with the mayor visiting the district for a tree lighting ceremony at Monument Square. There will also be a craft fair at the First Church in Jamaica Plain and a book sale at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, as well as other events. Diane Spears of the Loring-Greenough House mentioned that between noon and 1 p.m. dogs can be photographed with Mrs. Santa Claus (herself) outside the house.

-Reiskind gave an update from the Transit, Traffic and Parking Committee. He said changes might be coming to the traffic flow on Boynton Street where it meets South Street. A couple of years ago, the committee had asked the Boston Transportation Department to switch the street from one-way to two-way to allow easier deliveries for the business located where Happy Market is today.

But residents have been complaining that traffic is backing up on Boynton Street during evening rush hour. When Boynton was a one-way street, it had two lanes to exit, one for left hand turns and the other for right hand turns.  Since Happy Market only has deliveries in the morning, the committee is asking BTD to make it two-way only until noontime.

BAPA will not have regular meeting next month, but will have holiday party.

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