Community Harvest of Central Vermont (CHCV), a community based volunteer driven food recovery organization, has had another incredible year of gleaning and has now gleaned over 107,900 pounds or 323,700 servings of food since it started in 2014.
In 2017, CHCV was able to donate more than any season yet, 37,524 pounds in all. Over 24,000 pounds was gleaned from local farms, while another 13,000 was generously donated by the Willing Hands gleaning program of the Upper Valley.
CHCV also continued to increase the amount of meat and dairy recovered – just over 1,500 pounds of meat, eggs, and dairy in addition to fruits and vegetables.
All of the gleaned food was donated to 17 recipient sites that serve those in need in our community, including senior meal programs, local food shelves, and others serving low income people in Central Vermont. “None of our work to feed members of our community would have been possible without our many volunteers and all those in the community who partnered with us and supported our work this year,” said Allison Levin, CHCV’s Director.
Levin offered thanks for the generosity of so many local farmers. She called out Rogers Farmstead for not only donating milk and yogurt, but also generously providing a home for the organization’s storage cooler building again in 2017. She also thanked Dog River Farm for their fourth season in a row being our largest farm contributor and the other 34 farms and growers that CHCV partnered with in 2017 and for the thousands of pounds of wonderful food they all donated.
A full list of 2017 contributing farms can be found at the CHCV website, http://www.communityharvestvt.org/thanks/.
Partnering with all these great farms is only the first step – once the crops are available, over 230 community volunteers throughout the season volunteered to harvest, sort, clean, weigh, track, and deliver produce. They also help with administrative tasks, and much more, including distribution to the community service partners working to ensure more in our community have access to health fresh local food.
Mary Carlson, a CHCV volunteer, said, “I love seeing the faces of emergency food pantry customers light up when they greet the arrival of boxes of colorful fresh produce grown by area farmers.” Volunteers donated over 1,000 hours to CHCV in 2017.
Another volunteer, Suzanne Mancinelli, said, “Volunteering for Community Harvest makes me feel good about myself, Vermont, and our community. I am proud to know that my efforts help feed our seniors and others less fortunate. This organization is a symbol of why I moved to and love living in Vermont.”
Levin also sent a special thanks to Sullivan Powers & Company and Community Bank N.A., the first to join CHCV’s new business sponsorship program. CHCV will be looking for even more business sponsors in 2018.
“We are looking forward to our fifth season of gleaning and working as a community to feed even more of our neighbors as we expand and strengthen CHCV in 2018. Thanks again to all of the community members who have supported our efforts over the last four years,” Levin concluded.
Those interested in finding out more about CHCV’s gleaning efforts or becoming a partner, sponsor, or volunteer can visit www.communityharvestvt.org or contact Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org.