Food For Free Rescues Fresh Food with Boston-Area Farmers Markets to Help Combat Hunger

Farmers Markets are an Important, Yet Often Unknown Resource for Hunger Relief

Cambridge, MA (June 22, 2021) – Food For Free, the Cambridge-based non-profit hunger relief organization, announced today they are partnering with the Boston Public Market and their annual Dewey Square Farmers Market on a program to rescue fresh food that would otherwise go to waste. After a tumultuous 2020, summer is officially kicking off in Boston on June 20th and the farmer’s market scene is back in full swing. Food For Free will be collecting unsold, fresh produce straight from the farmers once a week at Dewey Square along with other markets in the area including The Boston Public Market.

How it works: At the conclusion of the market each day, Food For Free visits each local farmer and rescues food that is not sold and would otherwise go to waste. Food For Free team members bring empty boxes and permit each farmer to decide what remaining perfectly fresh, seasonal, healthy and local produce they are able to donate that day. The donated food stays in prime condition in the Food For Free coolers until the following day when the food is then given out at local food pantries, delivered to homebound seniors or schools, or even cooked and served at various meal programs across the city.

“Farmers markets are wonderful because they offer local, fresh, high-quality food and allow shoppers the opportunity to support local farmers, but what many people aren’t aware of is that they are also an important resource for fighting hunger,” said Sasha Purpura, Executive Director of Food For Free.  “We’ve been rescuing food at various farmers markets in the Greater Boston area for most of our forty year history, and we are thrilled to partner with The Boston Public Market Association to rescue fresh, local food at the Dewey Square market and give it to our neighbors who are in need.”

Food For Free has been dedicated to working with farmers markets in the Greater Boston area and offers food rescue services at other markets including Central Square, Copley Square, Arlington Farmers Market, Davis Square in Somerville, and Belmont Square. In 2020, the pandemic brought many challenges to the markets and farmers – with restrictions and COVID protocols.  Now that the State of Emergency and mandates have been lifted there is optimism that there will be more farmers selling and even more visitors shopping.

Food Rescue has been at the heart of Food For Free’s work for 40 years and they distribute the food that they rescue to 100+ food programs in Arlington, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville, and Watertown, among other communities.  In 2020, Food For Free rescued 2.2 million pounds of food and distributed 4.7 million pounds of food helping to feed more than 30,000 people.

“We’re so grateful for the support and efforts of Food For Free’s food rescue team to get the fresh, nutritious food from the market into the hands of those that need it most,” said Cheryl Cronin, CEO of The Boston Public Market Association.  “After a very difficult year, we’re so excited to be open again at Dewey Square with no capacity or sampling restrictions, and we’ve tripled the amount of vendors that we had in 2020. We look forward to offering people in Boston access to fresh food from local farmers all summer long, and helping to fight hunger in the process – it’s a win-win for all.”

“Every week, we bring fresh fruits and vegetables from our own fields to farmers markets in the Boston area,” said Stephen Violette From Dick’s Market Garden, who has donated food to Food For Free at several area farmers markets for several years. “We’re pleased to help Food For Free provide fresh healthy food to families and individuals most at risk of hunger.”

To find out more information about Food For Free’s food rescue program or for volunteer opportunities, people can visit


Food For Free is a Cambridge-based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing the Greater Boston community with reliable access to fresh and nutritious food. Food For Free accomplishes its mission through food rescue, partnerships with schools, colleges, and community food programs, and our own direct service programs. In the last year, Food For Free distributed 4.7 million pounds of nutritious food to more than 30,000 people throughout Greater Boston and was named 2020 .Org Impact Award winner in the Fighting Hunger and Poverty category for its work improving access to healthy food within the Boston community. To learn more, please visit us at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Boston Public Market is an indoor, year-round marketplace featuring about 30 New England artisans and food producers housed under one roof offering fresh foods, prepared meals, crafts, and specialty items. Residents and visitors alike can find seasonal, locally sourced food from Massachusetts and New England, including fresh produce, meat and poultry, eggs, dairy, seafood, baked goods, specialty items, crafts, and prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Everything sold at the Market is produced or originates in New England, as the seasons allow. Additionally, the Boston Public Market runs an outdoor seasonal farmers market at Dewey Square on The Greenway (Thursdays, June – November) featuring local producers and artisans.

The Market is a civic, community-building space for farmers, fishers, food entrepreneurs, neighbors, customers, and partners who come together around the common culture of food. We create opportunities for small businesses to thrive, and nourish our community with experiences, conversation, and education about public health and the impact of buying local food. Year-round festivals, workshops, cooking classes, and tours create an engaging, educational experience and a vibrant environment for everyone.

The Boston Public Market Association, a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, developed and operates the Market with public impact goals to support: economic development, New England food system resilience, public health and education, affordability, and access. Development of the Boston Public Market in 2015 was a partnership between the Boston Public Market Association, individual and corporate donors, foundations, the City of Boston, and the project’s seed funder, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Boston Public Market, located at 100 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02108, is open Wednesday – Saturday, 8:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm. The Boston Public Market at Dewey Square Farmers Market is currently open Thursday from 11am-4pm until mid-November.