Meet Sam—the Chicken Man!

We are proud to welcome the youngest member of Just Food's Farmers' Circle—a place reserved for the most generous of all our wonderful supporters. Last month 12 year-old Sam Olsen raised nearly $1,200 for Just Food's City Chicken Project.

Sam met his first chicken just 12 short months ago while visiting friends in Rockport, Massachusetts. Their silly clucks and curious eyes hooked Sam right away. He decided he wanted to keep his own chickens in the city one day. Then he thought, if he wanted chickens, surely other people in the city would want chickens too. Enter Just Food and the City Chicken Project.

In Hebrew, the term “mitzvah” refers to a moral deed or act of human kindness performed as a religious duty, as well as to the ritual of becoming an adult. In preparation for his own bar mitzvah this summer, Sam decided to do a mitzvah raising money for the City Chicken Project. Sam wanted New Yorkers to have the opportunity to discover the joy of city chickens: “I wanted to do something to help other people and since I want to have my own chickens, I thought I could learn about keeping chickens and help people at the same time.”

In addition to his incredible fundraising efforts, this weekend Sam (above) got his hands dirty working with Just Food and a group of community volunteers to build a coop at a vacant lot turned community garden on Pitkin Avenue in Cypress Hills. Sam was excited to help connect more people with the benefits chickens offer. “Chickens are fun and friendly and good for learning. They’re also a really good resource for eggs, and eggs are really good for you and delicious too!”

We couldn’t agree more. Over the past 5 years, Just Food has worked with school and community gardening groups to create 15 City Chicken Projects. Every year dozens of groups apply to be City Chicken Project sites. Each year, we say yes to only a handful, and then fundraise our tail-feathers off to pay for supplies, chickens and training. This year, we are so grateful to have had the dedication of Sam, our #1 City Chicken Fundraiser. To support Sam’s campaign and help us reach our goal, please visit and share your funds or fundraising time! To learn more about past and present City Chicken Projects, click here.