Salvations Farms has successfully relaunched its gleaning program in the Lamoille Valley. Gleaning is reaping after the harvest, collecting what farmers can’t put to market. Salvation Farms distributes these fresh fruits and vegetables to food access sites and meal programs throughout the Lamoille County and surrounding towns of Hardwick, Craftsbury, Greensboro, and Woodbury.
Salvation Farms has been planning this relaunch since early 2016; that was when the Vermont Foodbank approached Salvation Farms explaining that they would cease operating the Lamoille Valley gleaning program that Salvation Farms had instituted into their organization back in 2008.
Through months of planning and partner visits, Salvation Farms has been hard at work to once serving this region’s farmers and eaters, and provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for the community. Last summer, the organization hired a full-time Gleaning Coordinator who spearheaded the relaunch, reestablished partnerships, and invited more folks into the fields of our local farms and into the supply chain of a re-localized food system.
In 2017, Salvation Farms gleaned and distributed over 48,000 pounds of quality fruits and vegetables from 21 local farms to 25 different meal sites and food shelves, engaging 151 hardworking volunteers who dedicated 528 hours – far exceeding expectations for the first year!
Through these efforts, Salvation Farms served 9 sites in Morrisville alone with 24,300 servings of quality fruits and vegetables, sites like Lamoille Community Food Share and Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County.
In addition to the short-term benefit of bringing more nutritionally-dense, local food to our neighbors, Salvation Farms has rekindled relationships with meal programs and food access sites and supported them in utilizing fresher, more nutritious crops. As Chuck, kitchen manager of Teen Challenge in Johnson, explains: “the gleaning program has been a blessing…our food budget is limited, so the weekly donation helps out tremendously.”
To financial support Salvation Farms or to join them as a volunteer, visit www.salvationfarms.org or call 802-888-4360 for more information.