Why I Give About Fresh.

Blog / Why I Give About Fresh.
What we care about, we bring about. In this week’s blog, Victor Matta, Fresh Truck Online Retail Coordinator, shares how caring, and showing up every day, with purpose, brings about deeper community impact. 

Tori Strickland • 2 min read

Growing up, my family was food insecure. We weren’t able to easily get healthy and affordable food. There were grocery stores in the area but, generally, all of them had either a high mark up price on produce or we didn’t have real knowledge of how to use a lot of what was available. I see a lot of my family in the communities that we serve– people trying to feed their families with the most cost effective foods they can find. So as soon as I experienced my first Fresh Truck mobile market, I knew this was the work for me – work with purpose and impact.
• • •
What do you care about?

VM: I’ve always been passionate about supporting people, personally and in the community. I enjoy seeing people succeed and grow. Connecting with people, and seeing the world through different lenses has always kept me grounded.

What does care look like for you?

VM: Showing up every day. I show up every day, figuratively and literally, ready to get my hands dirty, get involved or solve a problem. I feel if I can help in some way, even if it is not inherently my responsibility, I should do so. I try to use my skills and abilities to give my best work in my career and in my life.

What does care look like around you?

VM: People who see the purpose of our mission and get more involved. Like my colleagues, who have recently joined our team, are already looking for ways to develop deeper relationships with our shoppers, and communities. To them, this isn’t just a job but a mission, about more than just selling produce but being intentional about how we connect with the community.

Click here to see the Fresh Truck Online Market.
• • •

Give About Fresh and get more fresh food to communities that need it most.


Blog / Why I Give About Fresh.

About Cafe Juice Up.

Blog / About Cafe Juice Up.
To kick off Black History Month, Denise A. O’Marde and Fiex Thevenin of Cafe Juice Up, a juice bar located in Mattapan, MA, shared with us their background, business, and hopes for making a difference.

Tori Strickland • 3 min read

Photo Courtesy of Lane Turner / Boston Globe
Denise A. O’Marde and a local business owner in Mattapan were inspired to start a juice bar during the summer of 2018. Shortly after their opening, however, the two decided to part ways. A couple of months later, Denise & Fiex Thevenin became acquainted through a mutual friend. They shared the common interest in reopening the juice bar with hopes of making an impact on their community. Through their rejuvenated vision, Café Juice Up opened in January of 2019.
What has been the community response to the opening of Cafe Juice Up?

D: Because our products are either natural or organic, and in today’s world, people are becoming more and more health-conscious about the food they consume, they tend to gravitate towards Cafe Juice Up. It’s like we’re a buzz; we’re a vibe! You know, people want to come and consume the healthy products that we’re providing for them.

How do you keep your prices affordable?

F: That is a really great question. So the keyword in what you just said is “to make it affordable,” right? Affordable versus profitable, not for either one of us to become millionaires or billionaires tomorrow or overnight. We both believe and join in something that matters. Whatever the rewards that will come down the line will be passed on. Denise is a mastermind at making sure that we’re able to provide the product that we’re providing and not lose on any of the taste or flavor while making sure that our ratios are controlled to the tee. We know that to say that we’re offering the alternative to what’s available, we can’t offer downtown Boston prices. So, it’s multiple sides to it, right. The side is doing the right thing, making sure that we’re putting something that’s available to the people that is enjoyable, but at the same time, also making sense of what we’re doing as far as the business end of it.

• • •

D: We said in the very beginning that neither he nor I had any restaurant experience, which is quite true, but, by affiliating with the City of Boston and with Commonwealth Kitchen, we have participated in various programs that have helped us to develop our knowledge and our skills in the food business.

F: One of those things that we’ve learned is access is important, right? Because if you’re not granted access to these things, then you have no idea what’s going on. And it reminds me if we were doing something that was different than what we were doing, would we have been a part of those circles? So access is important, no matter what you’re doing, because if you’re not given access, then you’re going to encounter so many different roadblocks, especially as people of color. So that’s really important that we make sure that we are doing the right thing, that we represent our company in the best way possible, the company itself is top tier, and we’re providing a consistent, reliable product.

I don’t want for [anyone] to come to Cafe Juice Up because it’s black-owned. I want you to come and support it because it is an establishment that is doing something right because of the product itself, the aesthetic, the smell, the feel, and the taste because all of these things matter when you walk in.

• • •

To learn more about Cafe Juice up, visit their website here.

Blog / About Cafe Juice Up.

About Gustey

Fresh Truck’s new Program Coordinator, Gustey Vilme, offers her “Fresh Take” on joining About Fresh, living in Boston, and omelets that hit the spot.

Tori Strickland • 1 min read

What are you excited to bring to the team?

GV: A new perspective. I’m from the areas Fresh Truck serves, like Hyde Park, so I’ve seen Fresh Truck, I have volunteered with Fresh Truck before, and I know some people in the community who don’t even know what Fresh Truck is. I am hoping I can share input from the community perspective.

What do you love about living + working in Boston?

GV: Right now, I’m in the Allston/Brighton area. It has a low-key city vibe. It’s busy, but not too busy. It has the best of both worlds, in that sense, which is pretty nice.


What is the food or the meal that makes you smile the biggest?

GV: An omelet. I got introduced to omelets at UMass Dartmouth Residential because they had this omelet line, and it was the best part of the day. One of my friends introduced me to putting tomatoes in your omelet, and it’s amazing! It’s my thing now, with some spinach and bacon. I love it, it hits the spot!

• • •

Check out Gustey’s bio + follow About Fresh on Instagram for more of her story.


Blog / About Gustey

Lorrin’s So Fresh ⚡️

Blog / Lorrin’s So Fresh ⚡️

This week marks one year since Lorrin Van Evra, Development Manager, joined the About Fresh team. In that year, Lorrin has built systems and foundations for our organization to grow its impact + launched our monthly giving community, So Fresh.

We rewind to Lorrin’s 2020 onboarding interview where she talks living in Boston (Spoiler alert: Boston, she thinks you’re cute) + why the best meals are the ones you share with the best people.

Tori Strickland • 1 min read

What are you excited to bring about fresh as work?

LVE: About Fresh has such incredible programs and growth. I think the key to being strong and growing strong is having a great foundation underneath you, so I want to help [About Fresh] grow. I’m an organized person, I love spreadsheets and to-do lists and getting systems in place to build the foundation to take us where we want to go. I’m excited to bring my skills to set us up for that.

What do you love about living + working in Boston?

LVE: What I love most about Boston, I can say, is the food. It has very good seafood, and I’m a big seafood fan! And the city’s “cute factor” like the brick, the way that it looks. It feels like you’re in an old city sometimes. I love the rusticness that Boston has!

What is the food or the meal that makes you smile the biggest?

LVE: I love food so much! I think any meal that I’m sharing with people that make it an enjoyable experience. I’ve had bad food, but the meal itself has been good because of the company!

• • •

Check out Lorrin’s bio, follow About Fresh on Instagram to see more of her story + join Lorrin and our monthly donor community at So Fresh.


Blog / Lorrin’s So Fresh ⚡️

About Mariah.

From farm to Fresh Connect, Retail Success Manager Mariah Notini discusses her new role, Boston commuting, and why “mom’s spaghetti” makes her smile the biggest.

Tori Strickland • 1 min read

What are you excited to bring to About Fresh’s work?

MN: I grew up in a retail setting. We’ve [family] owned a convenience store in Salem, New Hampshire, my whole life. I’m excited to bring that retail background into the job. Also, I was a farmer’s market manager for a long time and a farmer. So I’m excited that I can continue to connect with that community and bring that knowledge with me and apply it here.  I’m excited to be able to bring farmers closer to their community through the Fresh Connect program. I enjoy connecting with people one-on-one and hope to create deeper relationships that way.

What do you enjoy about living and working in Boston?

MN: Well, I don’t live in Boston. I live in Lowell, but it’s been great working in Boston. I was nervous about the commute because I’ve never had to commute on the train before, but I honestly love it! I love taking the T. I love the time to read and walk through the Commons. It’s beautiful. I love being downtown and feel like I’m finally forming a relationship with the city. I absolutely love food, and there are so many good places to eat!

What is the meal that makes you smile the biggest?

MN: I think of two things. The one that tastes the best and always warms my heart is my mom’s meatballs and red sauce with sausage. On the stove, on a Sunday. It makes me think of fall. It makes me think of my family, and it’s just good home-cooked food. Another meal that will always have a place in my heart, Vic’s chicken pie. Vic’s was a spot in downtown Lowell. They made chicken pies, and that was always a family meal that we’d have that was so tasty.

• • •

Check out Mariah’s bio and follow About Fresh & Fresh Connect on Instagram to see more of Mariah’s story.

Blog / About Mariah.

Packing up Fresh Box

Blog / Packing up Fresh Box

Casey Hogan, Fresh Box Project Manager, shares a glimpse of the relationships she’s built and perspectives gained working with Fresh Box + About Fresh “doubles down” on healthy food access

  Casey Hogan • 2 min read

I walk into the office and take a look at our call line. Benjamin and I chatted last night after his favorite delivery driver dropped off his Fresh Box, so I know I’ll have a voicemail from him this morning. Benjamin recognizes hard work and good service from years of owning his own business before a stroke forced him to retire. Every time he has a good experience with us, he makes sure to call and tell us who he thinks deserves to be Employee of the Year (and that we should have an Employee of the Year).

It’s Tuesday, so I also have a message from Josephine. I have never met Josephine, but her voice makes my heart light up every time I hear it. She speaks Haitian-Creole, so her son usually calls us when she has a question, but at least once a week, she’ll call herself to say, “Thank you, sister.” and tell us how much she enjoys her Box. 

Thanks to the vaccine rollout, Benjamin and Josephine are among thousands of people and households immunized against COVID-19 every day. Many of them can now go to the store themselves or travel to be with their family. The critical need for our home deliveries is decreasing, which means the end of Fresh Box is in sight. It’s a moment to celebrate and to take a pause. Fresh Box served a population that needed this support before COVID and gave people access to fresh foods they didn’t have before.

I have heard, over and over, from people whose doctors told them to start “eating better,” but they couldn’t afford to. They call and tell us how happy their doctors are after months of cooking with the ingredients in their boxes. Though these individuals may be vaccinated and are not at as high of a risk for COVID, the barriers that affect people’s ability to access fresh, healthy food remain the same. 

.    .    .

Doubling down on our mission

At the pandemic’s peak, 1 in 6 households throughout Boston were food insecure. Rates have since dropped due to the most recent wave of government economic aid. Echoing s a simple fact, when people have money, they feed themselves and their families. Money builds purchasing power and agency to buy and select the foods we need to keep ourselves healthy and nurture our cultures and traditions. Household budgets have long played a critical role in determining access to healthy food.

As we wind down our COVID-response program, we are doubling down on our mission to get healthy food to households who need it through programs like Fresh Connect. As a debit card program that allows healthcare systems to cover healthy food costs for their patients, Fresh Connect gives people money to buy healthy food and purposely partners with healthcare to have a greater impact and influence on purchasing power and agency. We’re committed to ensuring communities have access to healthy food regardless of zip code, household income, or class.

For more information on Fresh Connect or stay up to date on program updates, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Blog / Packing up Fresh Box

Meet Gabi.

Dedicated food advocate, a long-time friend of Fresh Truck, and now, newest About Fresh Board Member, Gabriella “Gabi” Mora, sat down to talk board service, advocacy, and what it means to “ride or die” for food justice.

Tori Strickland • 3 min read

You’ve been around Fresh Truck since year one, year twoish?

GM: Yea. There was no staff. We were in Josh’s living room, all volunteers. I don’t think Josh was taking a salary at the time. The first time I talked to him, he was loading the bus, operating the markets. It’s really powerful to have witnessed all of the growth, in a lot of ways, from the early stages of the organization until now. To see all of the beautiful, talented people who have joined the organization. It just blows me away! It really does, and everyone’s so smart and so thoughtful. It’s very cool.

• • •

Tamika Mallory has a quote, “we don’t need allies; we need accomplices.” I’ve been thinking about that in the context of what it means to be a co-conspirator/an accomplice in this work.

GM: I love that! You know, when we talk about the difference between allyship and co-conspiratorship, that’s about relationship. That’s about how are we moving in relationship with one another and how we’re holding each other in a relationship that’s mutually respected, accountable, and equitable. All of those things! It all starts, to me, with relationship. You can understand it in different ways, but I think everything spins out from there. It then informs how we treat one another, how we show up, and how we show up in movement.

A co-conspirator/accomplice is like your “ride or die.”

GM: We’re going to get up in this together! I use “ride or die” all the time. That’s the same feeling I have; that’s the same energy.

What do you think it actually looks like to be a “ride or die” in this work? What does it look like in advocating for food justice?

GM: Part of that is decentering yourself or how I’m going to show up for this person in this moment, and that opportunity can be presented to you in a lot of ways. We have all these opportunities to show up, like in our workspaces, other communities we might belong to, identities we hold, and people that we might share in those spaces, and it applies to this work, around food. What it means to me there is I think it depends on who you’re in relation to and who are you in relationship with.

I work for a foundation, and in that role, the relationship that I’m in, as it relates to food work, is by way of About Fresh. I work to center the organization. The foundation is going to listen to [About Fresh] because [About Fresh] is in alignment and movement with community. They understand the needs, and they’re going to tell us what those needs are. Now for About Fresh, that’s going to look a little bit different. You’re in relationship with community. So for [About Fresh], it’s “I’m accountable to this community.” I think that’s a beautiful way in which the ecosystem works and really emphasizes, always asking this question, “who are you in relationship with, and how are you centering that person as the expert?” depending on your position of power, because we all, in some degree, hold a position of power. We might not feel that way, but we do. That can look a lot of different ways, but being curious and dynamic in that is really important.

• • •

What are you excited about being on the board?

GM: Honestly, I’m excited to serve. This is my first board appointment! The opportunity is really exciting. I don’t have an agenda; I want to learn. In another organization I worked for like ten years, I never knew more than two people on the board. It was never encouraged to have a relationship with board members. It feels like an opportunity to do something different because I feel like I have a relationship with so many staff at the organization, just from hanging around for so long.

To sum it, I’m excited to serve and support the organization, what it dreams to be, and what it continues to grow into. About Fresh is a young organization that punches way above its weight, and that’s so cool! It’s so cool to witness and now be a part of in a new and a different capacity, and maybe I’ll shake things up!

We’re counting on it!

Read Gabi’s full board bio here.

Blog / Meet Gabi.

The Impact We Made Together in 2020

Blog / The Impact We Made Together in 2020

At the onset of the pandemic, About Fresh mobilized quickly to meet our communities’ needs. By doubling down on our mission, we found innovative, new ways to get fresh, healthy food to people who needed it.

We’re proud to share our 2020 Annual Report and recognize the many efforts and contributions that made our work possible, along with the strength and resilience of our team, partners, shoppers, and community.

Check out our full 2020 Annual Report here.


 In 2020, our community showed up, came together, and helped see each other and our community through this pandemic.

There is no doubt, every one of our supporters made our work and achievements possible last year. We can’t wait to see the impact we’ll make together as we propel our work toward systemic change to advance and achieve equity in how food is accessed across our communities. As you have always done, we urge you to continue pushing us, inspiring us, and building with us in 2021.

Blog / The Impact We Made Together in 2020

About Us: Our Team is Growing

Blog / About Us: Our Team is Growing

The About Fresh team has been busy for the past few months: expanding markets and partnerships, building a new COVID-response program, and growing our team! In our commitment to getting healthy food to households that need it most, we have added several members to our team to support our growing community reach and impact. “About Us” invites you to become more familiar with our team and work through our newest team members’ words and experiences.

Meet Ben, Stephen, and Casey

This week, our spotlight is on three of our talented team members who recently joined the About Fresh team, Fresh Truck Market Manager Benjamin Diaz, Fresh Truck Coordinator Stephen James, and Fresh Box Project Manager Casey Hogan. In their roles, Ben, Stephen, and Casey work to get healthy food to the community through both our Fresh Truck and our COVID-response program, Fresh Box.

Check them out below and follow their stories on our Instagram, @aboutfresh.

Describe yourself in one word? “Free!”
Stephen James, Fresh Truck Program Coordinator
What are you excited to bring to About Fresh’s work?

Stephen: I’m excited to bring the team player aspect to work. A real mission-focused and community-focused attitude. I’m excited to bring that focus to keep our people, our work, and communities first.

Casey: The About Fresh team already did an amazing job creating Fresh Box as a response program during the pandemic. It’s such a source of reliability and positivity for people in such a rough time. Now that we are in phase two, I’m excited to look at it from an efficiency lens and how it works for everyone from people driving to receiving boxes.

Ben: I’m excited to bring my food expertise, especially my knowledge about fruits and vegetables from different food cultures. When someone asks, “How do you cook Yuca?” that’s when I light up! I try to expand people’s minds regarding different types of foods and things they don’t regularly eat in their diet.

Boston Beaches or Boston Snow?  
“Boston Beaches!”  
Casey Hogan,
Fresh Box Project Manager
What do you enjoy about living & working in Boston?

Casey: I love the food scene. Boston also gives you options. Beaches aren’t too far away, and there are many historic landmarks in and outside of the city.

Ben: No matter where you go, you’re home, you are like family. The blend of people and the mixture of cultures expands your mind. I enjoy places like old Boston, Charlestown. The city has so many beautiful things to fall in love with.

Stephen: I love the diversity. I love to see and hear different languages, accents, cultures, the way people dress and engage with each other. I love the diversity of Boston neighborhoods. There’s a lot of people with a lot of passion and organizations doing great work.


Favorite spice to cook with? “Five Spice & Adobo”
Benjamin Diaz, Fresh Truck Market Manager


Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on new positions at About Fresh.

Blog / About Us: Our Team is Growing

Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response

Blog / Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response

In the 100 days since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in Boston, About Fresh has turned our initial scrappy response into a sophisticated and scalable system that’s getting more food to the households that need it than we have ever delivered before.

How we got here

We designed a door-to-door delivery system

-We scaled last-mile delivery operations by connecting our Fresh Connect platform to a delivery technology platform. This enabled us to enroll high-need households through health systems, community partners, and the City of Boston to ensure more than 5,000 households a week were getting fresh, healthy food at the right address at the right time. 

Our partners stepped up and worked fast

-We partnered with the City of Boston to develop a shared enrollment system for households at the highest risk for the virus.

-Our wholesale food distributor, Katsiroubas Bros, stood up the Fresh Box sourcing and packing operation. 

-Brigham Health enrolled patients through COVID-19 testing sites to enable them to stay home and limit spread. 

-After hearing that we were in need of last-mile delivery support, CEO of Gourmet Caterers, Bob Wiggins offered to leverage the Payroll Protection Program funds they had received to keep his staff employed making Fresh Box deliveries. 

-And more than 300 people from Boston communities stepped up and collectively volunteered more than 2,300 hours to support door-to-door Fresh Box deliveries!

We redesigned the Fresh Truck mobile market model

-Two-weeks after statewide COVID-19 lockdown went into effect, the Fresh Truck team, headed up by Megan Huang, launched our Fresh Truck Open Air Mobile Markets across seven Boston sites. 

-Over three-months of operating Open Air markets, we have processed more than 2,800 transactions, 90% of which were SNAP.

Moving Forward

The work is not over. COVID-19 remains a threat across the city while the economic crisis continues to hit hard. Our low-income communities of color will be hit hardest on both fronts. Our programs are built to last and we will continue to adapt to new needs and new circumstances. 

Here’s what our team is doing next:

Expanding ‘Open Air’ Fresh Truck markets – As restrictions begin to lift we are working with our neighborhood partners to launch additional market sites for shoppers to use their SNAP and P-EBT funds on food. We are working to add 10 additional market sites to the schedule before the end of the year. 

Healthcare system integration – Food insecurity continues to be a strategic priority for health systems. We are accelerating the development of our Fresh Connect platform to meet the needs of health systems and their patients with upgraded features and a streamlined patient enrollment process.

Fresh Connect delivery integration – COVID-19 has expedited the need for Fresh Connect to be integrated into commercial grocery delivery systems. The Fresh Connect team has launched the exploration that will make it possible for Fresh Connect shoppers to order grocery delivery online using their Fresh Connect card. 


Food security is a crucial part of public health emergency and economic crisis response. The ability to put food on the table can make all the difference in times of fear and uncertainty. We need your support to continue to build programs that will carry our communities through this pandemic right now and into the future. 

Blog / Looking back, moving forward – Our COVID Response