oct6It was harvest day at Sonesta earlier this month as the staff from our headquarters just outside of Boston headed out to the country in Lincoln, Massachusetts for a day of picking and weeding fresh vegetables at Baker Bridge Farm. But beets, fennel, peppers and all manner of vegetables weren’t the only things being harvested that day. There was also plenty of good will and caring being shared.

It was all part of the Sonesta Culture of Caring effort to support The Food Project (TFP), a nonprofit organization that has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. TFP works with 150 disadvantage teens and thousands of volunteers each year to farm 70 acres of fields like those at Baker Bridge Farm. But the teens don’t stop after the picking’s done. They help bring food back to their own neighborhoods, to hunger relief organizations and to local bodegas that don’t otherwise have access to fresh food. Doing so helps them recognize that their actions can make real and impactful social change, raising their awareness in a deeply meaningful way.

oct7To support this worthwhile cause, Sonesta employees spent a week raising funds for TFP. Then we got our hands dirty at Baker Bridge Farm, right down the road from where Henry David Thoreau lived a life of simplicity on Walden Pond in Concord. In addition to filling bin after bin with nutritious food that will be delivered to those in need, the outing brought us back to our roots. In all of Sonesta’s dining establishments, from Boston to New Orleans, we strive to use local food products and take great inspiration from the earth and from the seasons. There was no better setting to be reminded of our farm-to-table values. And throughout the day, it wasn’t lost on us that World Food Day, October 16, was close at hand.

In all, Sonesta raised over $7,500 for TFP. And after a hard day on the farm, the team enjoyed an old-fashioned farm meal at a rustic long table in the fields at Baker Bridge Farm. It proved to be an incredibly rewarding day full of insight and crisp New England fresh air that refreshed the spirit and renewed our faith in kindness and giving.

Harvest Day, indeed. Thank you, Baker Bridge Farm!