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PROPOSAL: The Community Bread Oven

Saturday, May 4, 2013 | Posted by Alex

Maria Khim

Describe your project.
Community Bread Oven builds outdoor brick ovens throughout neighborhoods in Boston, around which we host myriad events that encourage members to take an active role in food and community-building. These tangible ovens are built with and by the community and serve as delicious gathering
spots for various forms of sharing, learning, celebrating, and eating.

The beauty of the outdoor brick ovens that CBO builds is that they set up a scene for what can be a community event, a social experiment, a film, a fresh-out-of-the-oven meal, and a temporary or permanent installation.

CBO works alongside various groups including community gardens, food-based causes, schools, and other engaged community members. Along with these partners, CBO hosts various events such as including fresh pizza-baking events, oven-building and food/nutrition workshops, and farmer’s markets. 

We want to revolutionize how people interact with food. In our most recent summer program, we facilitated weekly farmer’s markets at Tobin in Roxbury, a local community center. Children between the ages of 8 and 13 hosted their own farmer’s markets, created homemade dishes out of fresh produce, and participated in hands-on workshops based around an outdoor brick oven that they had painted and built themselves.

CBO is a social enterprise dedicated to enriching public spaces and opening up cultural and nutritional dialogue.

How will you use the grant?
We will use the grant to fund the building of two subsequent community bread ovens and to host open community events including farmers markets and fresh-pizza baking. More specifically, we would use the grant to:
  • Buy bricks, metal, and paint for oven-building
  • An oven can be built with as low as ~$100 in material costs
  • Procure produce for farmer’s market and pizza-baking events
  • CBO is able to procure produce at low cost from local food-rescue programs such as Fair Foods
  • Cover labor costs (adult and youth)
  • CBO partners with other community organizations, including community centers, to host programs and events and make an effort to compensate those who help support and facilitate the program, including youth.

Why and to whom is your project important?
CBO has identified a missed opportunity in the breadth of underutilized resources in our community: unused public spaces, fresh food and produce, and the community members themselves (including youth) to address the need for initiatives that community members with the tools to take back their health and contribute to building meaningful community spaces.
 We want to make fresh food accessible, easy, and fun—especially for youth—while also getting communities to buy in to the process through a real involvement and stake in the program.

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