Joan Squeri

HCC Consulting , Cambridge MA
For the first few decades of my life, curiosity about food served as a vehicle to enter world cultures and as a way to explore flavors and textures of food itself.
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Recently posted by joansqueri

December 27, 2013 - 6:12pm It was well past dark last week when we came across the art gallery on the corner of Pearl and Putnam Streets, blazing with light and color from within. My film editor Alan Verly and I had just finished shooting stills and video at the Cambridgeport Baptist Church for two upcoming Neighbor Media projects. We were beyond tired and anxious to get home but the welcome light, the warmth of wooden shapes, and the sheer flamboyance of color against the cold and darkness outside was just too good to ignore. Seconds inside the door, a warm sense of sensory wellness washed over us. ‘Wood’ at Gallery 263 is curated by Danforth Museum of Art Excecutive Director Katherine French. It is an outstanding exhibition of wood cuts, wood art and furniture, wood as fetish object, wood as a seductive natural element of striking beauty worthy of photographing; wood as a substrate for layering other materials on top of, wood as sculpture and as wood as building material. According the Gallery 263 website. French has “curated numerous exhibitions focused on historical and contemporary expressionism. In 2007 she received an... read more
September 3, 2013 - 8:13pm First in a Series on Hunger and Health in CambridgeFresh Pond Apartments Cambridge, MA Saint James Episcopal Church 1991 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140 See: Cambridge Food Pantry Study Being out in the warmth of a spring breeze is a just little bit unusual for the folks who run the Helping Hands Food Pantry. The pantry staff are more used to the usual routine: moving boxes, stocking shelves and managing volunteers in a ground level space of the Fresh Pond apartments, where the Helping Hands Food Pantry is located. This spring, sponsors and staff of the Helping Hands Food Pantry got a chance to socialize with families they serve at an outdoor food festival, and a chance to experience the communal aspects of food and community in a more lighthearted way. It was a pleasure to witness. Each month throughout the year, Helping Hands serves an astounding number of people: between 300 to 400 families with food supplies and referral services. Operating three days a week the food pantry budget stretches to serve about 30-32 people a day: a great accomplishment, but between 8-15 people may have to be turned away each of those days because there is not enough food to go around. It's worth... read more
April 17, 2013 - 6:11pm It sounded like a clap of thunder as I passed the MIT Dome on Mass Ave, but no one around me seemed even to register the noise. I checked my surroundings: the sun was shining, people were enjoying a walk in the cool, sunny spring weather, so I relaxed. I was my way to the Marathon to meet my friends, one of whom --thanks to smart phone tracking devices-- I knew had crossed the finish line more than an hour ago. I was almost to the edge of the MIT campus when a woman pushing a baby carriage coming towards those of us walking towards Boston said , "Have you heard the news? Do you know what happened?" A couple of strangers walking along with me and I, shook our heads in unison. "A bomb of some kind has exploded. Don't go over there." I heard someone next to me say, "Thank you." Registering that incongruous verbal exchange--being thanked by a stranger for being warned away from a place where an explosion has just taken place - the second sign that the bucolic spring day about to change in a profound way. I hesitated for a moment, wondering what to do. I decided to continue to walk to as far as the edge of the MIT campus, posting myself like a sentry at the corner of the... read more
March 26, 2013 - 1:08pm --Joan Squeri The branches are still bare and the chill in the air most March nights is still positively unforgiving--but Thursday night, March 14--the annual Farm Share Fair had hundreds of folks thinking spring and warmly shaking hands with the people who will be producing their food this growing season. The whole idea of an event like Farm Share Fair is to introduce consumers directly to farmers, as well as a concept called Community Supported Agriculture-- a term for a seasonal subscription purchase of goods directly from a farm or ranch. C.S.A.s, as this form of direct sale opportunity has come to be known, have become an increasingly popular way to source food for many urban consumers. Its good from the farmer’s side of the economic equation,too. This alternative buying method is breathing strong new life into New England Agriculture. Founded in 2010 by Dave Madan, Executive Director of The MOVE, the Farm Share Fair sprang from a desire connect average citizens to the agricultural process and introduce the people who actually grow food to new consumers. Now in its third year, Farm Share Fair came from somewhat humbler surroundings... read more
March 18, 2013 - 3:38pm Movie Trailer - A Place at the Table: One Nation Underfed by Joan Squeri A Place at the Table is a portrait of hunger in America in 2013. Here’s the frightening thing: the portrait looks like many people you know. Forty seven million Americans --that's one in six people in the United Sates of America --currently relies on food stamps (now known as USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) to survive. Charities are straining to keep up with the growing numbers of people who have come to rely on food banks and pantries to make it through the month. The fact that there is no shortage of food in a nation of expanded waistlines, all-you can-eat-buffets and out-sized portions, surprises no one. What makes A Place at the Table so compelling is the light it shines on the close relationship that obesity and hunger have come to share. These days, hunger in America no longer resembles the hollow-cheeked families in The Grapes of Wrath, gaunt and emaciated. The undernourished poor of today often appear well fed, even heavy --or even morbidly obese. What’s more, they may even hold a job and a struggle to pay a mortgage. The reality is that they are no longer a tiny minority... read more
August 3, 2012 - 5:35pm Annual ‘Sweet Soul Supper’ Feeds the Work of Margaret Fuller House, Area Four and Beyond Transcendentalist, feminist and Cambridge citizen Sarah Margaret Fuller, (1810-1850) was born in the section of Cambridge that we know today by two names: the ‘Port’ if you grew up here and ‘Area Four’ if you are from other parts of Cambridge. Fuller would have been proud of the annual celebration honoring the work carried on at her historic birthplace; the celebration itself was a vivid example of community partners coming together to meet a host of social needs. ‘A Sweet Soul Supper’ is the Margaret Fuller House’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Even before development pressures around Area Four were being felt so acutely the event has been on the fast track to becoming an annual Cambridge ‘good will pilgrimage with a pedigree.’ The team at the Margaret Fuller House has been drawing a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Cambridge politicians and community relations folk to show up from biotech, banks and academia, for a chance to rub shoulders with Area Four/‘Port neighborhood residents and to show their support for the work of the Margaret Fuller House for a few years running now. If this year’s... read more
November 8, 2011 - 8:03pm Farmer's markets and Community Supported Agriculture (shares of farm goods delivered to consumers popularly known as "CSA's" ) are rapidly coming to occupy a greater place of importance in our food supply. Across the country, the percentage of people shopping in farmers' markets has gone up by double digits annually each year for the last decade. Farmer's Markets themselves are growing in size and the diversity of their offerings and CSA's are are following suit: becoming more sophisticated, offering more diverse products and choice in response to the rapidly customers desire for local food. It certainly no secret that restaurants want to buy what local farmers,fishermen, winemakers, cheese makers and craft beer brewers produce. Bold proclamations of the origin of products appear throughout menus- local food comes to embrace not only produce but meat, dairy, and scores of other products-- all locally produced. -- No longer are farmers markets limited to quaint, roadside gathering places for summer and fall's locally grown fruits and vegetables. In a market with a decent number of vendors, its now possible to find the majority of items that on would find in a typical... read more