Wu and BPS announce contract with City Fresh Foods

schools

Starting in July, the Roxbury-based company will provide meals and snacks to schools in the city.

Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius at the Green New Deal announcement for BPS on May 12. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Standing on the steps of Orchard Gardens School in Roxbury Wednesday morning, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced the upcoming investment in Boston’s school communities and students, this time in food.

City Fresh Foods, a Roxbury-based Black-owned and employee-owned food service company, will provide breakfast, lunch, after-school meals, fresh snacks and summer meals for nearly 50,000 Boston Public Schools students beginning this summer.

“I am very proud to partner with City Fresh to bring nutritious food to youth in our Boston public schools. And with this investment, we are leading by example, showing that it is possible to invest in local businesses that value hardworking workers living racial equity, and still receive higher quality food.”

The contract is valued at more than $17 million, and Wu said it is the largest non-construction contract the city has awarded to a certified black-owned business.

“We are very proud that it is a local business based in Boston,” Wu said at a news conference. “City Fresh is headquartered in Roxbury and the majority of its employees are Boston residents, which means that the people who feed our communities are from our communities, and… the taxpayer dollars that we are investing in this contract and that It cost us so much to win, they return to the communities.”

City Fresh Foods Co-Founder and CEO Sheldon Lloyd said the company believes everyone deserves access to nutritious and delicious food, and expressed his excitement about this new deal.

“[This is a] a long time to come,” Lloyd said at the news conference. “Twenty-eight years ago, City Fresh started around the corner on Dudley Street: a 1,200-square-foot kitchen with fewer than 10 employees delivering a couple hundred meals a day. And check out City Fresh now. We produce and deliver thousands of meals every day to residents of the city of Boston and we have a team of 160 locations.”

Lloyd thanked Wu for his leadership and attention to a diverse local economy.

“City Fresh is building a state-of-the-art institutional foodservice production facility in the heart of Roxbury to bring critical nutrition and taste to more children and families in the Greater Boston community for years to come,” said Lloyd.

Wednesday’s announcement came a little more than a week after Wu’s last announcement about the city’s commitment to schools: The Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools. That plan includes school facility improvements, including up to $2 billion to launch 14 new construction or major renovation projects.

The new contract with City Fresh is another piece of that puzzle, Wu said.

“Our students deserve school facilities that will nurture their education and learning, and provide the foundation for them to have all the resources in the world that we know Massachusetts students have, which directly contribute to their academic achievement, social and emotional well-being. being, their physical and mental health, and also the stability of their families,” Wu said.

The partnership with City Fresh Foods will continue to achieve the goals of the Good Food Shopping Program, to align the city’s food shopping with “goals of racial equity, environmental sustainability, and local economic development,” according to a statement.

Wu and Lloyd were joined by BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, Head of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion Segun Idowu, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Procurement Officer Ellen Hatch.

“As a child who grew up on the projects, a child on food stamps, I know all too well the benefits of having fresh, nutritious food in our bellies,” Cassellius said. “We know that children cannot learn when they are hungry. The partnership being announced today is just one more lever in the all hands on deck approach we have been taking with the City of Boston to ensure every student has what they need to be successful.”

The City Fresh team includes a registered dietitian, according to a statement, who will be involved in analyzing the nutritional value of meals, tracking student engagement and minimizing food waste. Cassellius called the partnership a “great recipe for nurturing Boston’s future leaders,” in a statement.

“[City Fresh Foods’s] commitment to reducing the use of processed foods and their dedication to local Boston neighborhoods is critical in our work to close food equity gaps in the city and ensure all students are healthy, well-nourished, and ready to eat. learn,” Cassellius said. “I can’t wait to see what’s on the menu this summer.”

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