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Intervale Gleaning & Food Rescue

The Intervale Center’s missionis to strengthen community food systems. Since 1988, we’ve been dedicated to improving farm viability, promoting sustainable land use and engaging our community in the food system. We recognize that in order to have a vibrant local community food system, we must work to engage everyone in our community. We believe that all Vermonters should have access to—and be able to afford and enjoy—fresh, locally-grown food.

Intervale Gleaning and Food Rescue develops sustainable solutions to improve food access in Vermont. Utilizing primarily volunteer labor, the program gleans and rescues fresh food from Intervale farms and other local farms during the growing season and packages it into weekly free food shares for individuals, families and social service agencies. This allows community members and organizations to access fresh, local food from farms they know. The program also provides education and resources for participants to connect them with year-round, sustainable access to local food.

The Intervale Gleaning and Food Rescue Program is a proud member of the Vermont Gleaning Collective and together with other partnering organizations is committed to increasing statewide access to farm-fresh foods.

Our Free Food Share
Income eligible community members and social service agencies sign up in June for a 16 week free food share (July-October). For individuals and families, the share averages 6-8 pounds of local vegetables a week and for social service agencies the share averages 20-50 pounds a week (depending on how many individuals are being served). Participants and agencies are given a copy of Eat Fresh, Buy Local, a resource guide that we have developed, supplying them with information on how and where to access fresh, local food throughout the year, beyond the 16 week program. In addition, Hunger Free Vermont and City Market/Onion River Co-op attend each pick-up to provide taste tastes, culinary demonstrations and engage with participants in food and nutrition education activities.

A Community Driven Program
Intervale Gleaning & Food Rescue would not be possible without the support and engagement of our community – local farmers, organizations and volunteers. Each season many farms open their fields to gleaners. Digger’s Mirth Collective Farm, Pitchfork Farm, Maple Wind Farm, and Jericho Settler’s Farm host gleaners weekly throughout the season and countless other farms such as Intervale Community Farm donate extra produce to the program. In addition, the Intervale Gleaning and Food Rescue Program collects excess produce from participating vendors every Saturday at the Burlington Farmers’ Market. A committed group of core volunteers help run the program and many more help with gleaning efforts, packing free food shares and educating participants on the food they receive through the season.

Get involved!

  • VOLUNTEER! Join the Vermont Gleaning Collective and  receive invitations to participate in gleans at area farms as well as other volunteer opportunities.
  • Feed your community
  • Help farmers ensure that no food goes to waste
  • Learn more about the Intervale Center and Intervale  farms
  • Meet community members
  • Earn City Market member worker hours
  • Help the Intervale Center sustain farms, land & people!

Contact Us
For more information, contact Jessica Sanford at jessica@intervale.org or 802-660-0440 x 103.

Resources
Eat Fresh, Buy Local: A Guide to Eating Locally on a Limited Budget
In collaboration with many local partners we have developed Eat Fresh, Buy Local, a guide to improve limited income Vermonters’ access to locally grown food. This guide offers resources specific to Chittenden County.

Vermont Fresh: A Fruit and Vegetable Handbook
Produced by Salvation Farms, Sterling College, and Vermont Foodbank, this guide offers information on many local vegetables, including their history, preparation and storage tips and various recipes.

Quotes from Free Food Share participants:
“We are able to eat a larger quantity of vegetables and feel full.”

“The Intervale Center’s free food share program is a lifesaver for my family! I am trying so hard to get ahead, working at a school, paying off debt and unfortunately most helpful programs I am not eligible for even though I am a single mom doing everything right! Programs like your help those of us stuck between poverty and just above poverty! We are the check to check family and I am so very thankful for your help this summer.”

“It is so nice to have fresh vegetables that my kids are actually excited about. It’s really fun to pick up the vegetables and then fix meals with them together.”