Black founders are making strides in the realm of business while simultaneously evoking transformative change in their communities. According to Boston 25 News, the Black-owned company City Fresh Foods has inked a historic deal with Boston Public Schools.
When it comes to the distribution of city contracts throughout the country, Black business owners are often locked out of opportunities. The Boston Globe reported Black and Latinx-founded businesses landed a mere 1.2 percent of the $2.1 billion in contracts allocated to companies in the professional goods and construction industries over five years.
The $17 million contract awarded to City Fresh Foods marks the largest contract—outside of construction—the city has given to a Black-owned business. Under the pact, the company—which has a mission rooted in advancing food equity—will provide nutritious, locally-sourced meals for 50,000 students attending Boston’s public schools. Taking a culturally-responsive approach to curating the revamped school menus, City Fresh Foods will also work to eradicate food waste.
For City Fresh Foods co-founder and CEO Sheldon Lloyd, the partnership with Boston Public Schools is all about ensuring healthy meals are accessible to youth. “At City Fresh we believe that everyone deserves access to nutritious and delicious food, and we are thrilled to partner with the Boston Public Schools to deliver great tasting meals to the public school community of Boston,” he shared in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Many of our employees, including me, have children in Boston Public Schools and we are deeply committed to further supporting our communities where we work, learn and live to simultaneously provide quality meals and support our local economy. We are grateful to the Wu Administration and Boston Public Schools for their partnership and look forward to getting started this summer.”
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu added the collaborative effort “ensures every child will have access to nutritious foods to energize and nourish them through the day.”
News about the contract comes months after a Black woman-owned, Chicago-based grocery store created to address the city’s food deserts received a $2.5 million grant.