Fair Foods and BHA: 25 Years of Partnership and 20,000,000 lbs. of Produce

In this story, Fair Foods and the Boston Housing Authority express their appreciation for this bright, 25-year old partnership by which BHA residents receive bags of fresh produce at minimal cost.

Fair Foods brightens the Boston community with fresh, affordable produce by the bag and energetic smiles. This progressive non-profit is committed to providing food security by delivering low-cost groceries to communities in need. Fair Foods has always been ready to lend a generous hand; in 1990, Greg Davis, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) Special Assistant to the Administrator, approached the Fair Foods founder, Nancy Jamison. Davis was seeking help for BHA’s Development Unity Days, and Jamison responded by donating everything she had, saying she “didn’t actually know anything about BHA at that time, but gave to be of good cheer.” Since then, Fair Foods and the Boston Housing Authority have enjoyed a supportive relationship of over 25 years, working together to provide the Boston community with access to fresh, healthy, affordable food.



Amory residents and staff from Fair Foods, BHA, and Boston REACH work together to fill tenants’ bags with fresh produce.

Today, food security is a popular initiative among non-profits; however, Fair Foods and the BHA are proud to have a partnership that has addressed food security for decades. These organizations aligned their goals and shared resources to support their missions. Jamison recalled, “Once Fair Foods started working with BHA tenant leaders, we were being hosted at 15 BHA elderly sites in no time. We worked city-wide with a generation of older people who applied themselves to the community, and our organization continues to be a great effort by hundreds of people. We’re very grateful to the BHA for working with us.” One of the BHA host sites, St. Botolph, has received over 500,000 pounds of Fair Foods produce since 1990. In total, Fair Foods has provided over 20 million pounds of nutritious, affordable food to BHA families and surrounding communities.

Every week, BHA residents are given the opportunity to purchase convenient, affordable, and fresh produce at $2 per bag. Stephanie Colson, a resident and the Local Tenant Organization’s treasurer at Amory Street, states that Fair Foods "is especially good for the elderly, who can’t go to supermarkets but can just come downstairs and have access to good food. The food here is sometimes even better than the stuff I see at the supermarkets; the bananas, tomatoes, greens, and breads are all the same supermarket quality. It’s definitely worth the $2.” The BHA tenants at Amory Street have become more and more delighted to see Fair Foods volunteers at their homes.

Nancy Jamison’s grand-daughter and Fair Foods volunteer, Liz, delivers truckloads of fresh produce to BHA sites around the city. Kym Owens, a Fair Foods volunteer for many years, coordinates on-site volunteers to pack the groceries in bags. Owens expressed her positive sentiments: “To me, as a volunteer who has participated for many years, this partnership validates what Fair Foods has been doing all along. Through its actions, the BHA said, ‘we stand behind you.’” When Liz and Kym make their Fair Food visits, they always carry with them great enthusiasm and energy, which make the events an exhilarating experience for BHA residents who help out and for those who receive the groceries.

The staff at BHA would like to celebrate the joys and successes resulting from this meaningful partnership with Fair Foods. Greg Davis remarks, “I know I share the thoughts and feelings of our residents and BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle when I say we are so fortunate to have a community partnership with Fair Foods. They have been with us year after year without funding. They are very close to my heart.” BHA and Fair Foods aim to continue improving the lives of the Boston community through their hard work together. It takes an amazing partnership like this one to make such an impact on the community; as Nancy Jamison stated, “I could never have lifted that hundred million pounds of food by myself!”


BHA AmeriCorps VISTA Liz Fansler (middle) learning about Fair Foods from Program Volunteer Kym Owens (right) and Amory Street LTO Treasurer Stephanie Colson (left).




Fair Foods Volunteer Kym Owens (third from the right) with partners Boston Housing Authority and Boston Public Health Commission at the 2016 BHA Resident Summit.


See Fair Foods’ Two-Dollar-A-Bag Schedule at Fair Foods Schedule





| 12/21/2016 3:25:41 PM | 0 comments


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