• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

Brown Market Shares

BrownMarket Share Program is a campus-based student-run Community Supported Agriculture program. Through local food distribution, the program aims to promote our local economy, environmental sustainability, access to healthy food, and equitable pay for farmers. We believe that the Starr Fellowship is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the systems of the organization and plan strategically for expansion in a way that ensures both institutional stability and consistent professional relationships with vendors, customers, and the larger community. With careful restructuring and planning, this program can serve as a national model for campus- based food distribution systems.


Personal Statement

Previous to this project, I have done a lot of work with local food systems.  I spent one year working at the Food Project in Boston. The Food Project does work with access to fresh food as well as teaching high school students about the processes and inequities in the global food systems.  Working in downtown Roxbury, a low-income part of Boston, I saw firsthand what it means to live in a food desert.  Much of my conviction behind the subsidized share program comes from my conversation with the kids I was working with who shopped for groceries at convenience stores and were given chips as a full lunch.  I then became an intern for City Sprouts, a school garden program in Cambridge, MA.  There I worked with middle school students to teach gardening skills and nutritional awareness as well as working as an assistant to the program director.  This taught me many administrative skills associated with running a program.  I spent last fall living on a farm in rural Vermont.  I was a student at the Mountain School, taking high school classes and working to grow produce and raise livestock for student consumption.  There, I did a semester-long independent study on the history of American 20th century farm subsidy programs, and an analysis of their impact on our current food production models. 

After a few weeks, the program was all we could talk about.  I took on a role as a budget coordinator for the fall.  Since then, I have been learning directly from Dena Adler,the former budget coordinator, about how to balance the numbers, how to manage the logistical systems of payments, and about previous cost models and funding sources for the subsidized share program.   Because I am relatively new to the research, I think I can be extremely open to adjusting to what we find out over the course of our learning this summer.  For example,instead of approaching the budget with pre-conceived notions of how to use cross-subsidization in our model, I will be able to explore many different approaches before implementing a new model. I am interested in figuring out how the organization can be financially sustainable and strategically sound in our business