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Meal Plan

Project Name Project: City Fresh Foods
Challenge: Lack of jobs for residents living in an economically disadvantaged area of Boston.
Solution: Food service business that prepares multicultural meals for institutions and employs neighborhood residents.

The City Fresh Foods mission is about creating opportunities for people who donít get many. Founded in 1994 by local entrepreneur Glynn Lloyd, City Fresh now employs 65 people, nearly all of whom live in low-income areas of Boston. Lloyd got the idea for City Fresh while working with high school students prepare for the GED. He realized that what his students and the neighborhood needed most were opportunities for employment and wealth creation.

Lloyd set out to make City Fresh a model for how business can make a positive impact on a community. City Fresh places a priority on hiring from the community, and encourages employees to take on new skills and move up the job ladder of the operation.

What makes City Fresh Foods unique in the food service arena is its devotion to preparing ethnic meals for clients. City Fresh meets the needs and preferences of its clients by offering a variety of culturally specific menus, including Latin, Caribbean and Russian cuisine.

The business started small. Its first big contract was with the local Meals on Wheels provider. Soon, it began catering meals to charter schools and day care centers. After forming a partnership last year with an institutional food management company, City Fresh has grown into a $5 million-a-year business. Now City Fresh will continue delivering hot meals from their home base, but also set up shop in school, businesses and hospitals across the region.

City Fresh Foods
Video: Meal Plan

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Businesses that pursue a social mission like City Fresh often depend on the support of like-minded groups to grow. Here are two places Glenn Lloyd found vital financial and professional support:

Boston Community Venture Fund

Inner City Entrepreneurs: A Streetwise MBA Program (pdf)

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