The Food Project welcomed Jamaica Plain resident Jeff Wojtowicz, a retired biopharma senior executive, to its Board of Trustees.
The Food Project is a nationally recognized youth development model that employs teens to work alongside adults and strengthen local food systems.
Growing up outside of Chicago, Wojtowicz remembers consuming many canned vegetables. After he met his wife, whose family owns a farm in southern Illinois, he was exposed to more fresh vegetables with their enhanced flavor and nutrition. He first joined The Food Project as a member of the nonprofit’s development committee in 2018, helping to promote and execute the organization’s annual gala. This provided his first taste for how The Food Project works to build the next generation of leaders who will transform local food systems.
Bringing more than three decades of leadership, strategy, and project management experience to the Board, Wojtowicz looks forward to generating awareness about the power of disease prevention through greater access to nutrition. His most recent employer before retiring, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, recently committed to provide funding to the nonprofit to support food access work in the greater Boston neighborhoods. Wojtowicz’ personal goal is to connect other biopharma companies with The Food Project, linking their parallel efforts to build healthier communities.
“From a healthcare standpoint, if you don’t start with good nutrition, it’s not going to go well for you, and I witnessed this firsthand in the biopharma industry,” says Wojtowicz, who hopes his two grandchildren will one day participate in the nonprofit’s youth development programming. “What people need to understand, however, is that good nutrition isn’t always available. People aren’t necessarily making bad choices. Rather, they sometimes don’t have a choice. At The Food Project, our youth employees are increasing access to healthy, fresh, locally grown food for those who don’t have that choice. And there are many ways for volunteers and corporate partners to get involved to further their efforts.”