Gleaning & Food Rescue
Freedom from hunger is a basic human right. But poverty and hunger are big problems in the United States; in 2015, hunger is a daily reality for nearly 43 million people. In Vermont, recent surveys show that 13% of all Vermonters and 17% of our children are food insecure. Accessing fresh fruits and vegetables is a struggle for many of these families; barriers include cost, transportation, and the time and knowledge to shop and cook. At the same time, up to 40% of all produce grown in the United States is rejected before it reaches market due to cosmetic imperfections or overproduction. By gleaning and rescuing food, we are providing a way for food insecure people to access fresh food and more fully utilizing the food that is already grown on local farms.
The Intervale Center recognizes that in order to have a vibrant local 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.
The Gleaning & Food Rescue Program gleans and rescues fresh vegetables from Intervale farms and farms in Chittenden County. Our Fair Share Program then distributes this food, every week from July - October, at no cost, to 200 households and 20 social service agencies. We provide community members and organizations access to fresh, local food from farms they know. The Fair Share Program also provides nutrition education, cooking skills, and resources for participants to connect them with nourishing food all year long.
The Intervale Gleaning and Food Rescue Program is a proud member of the Vermont Gleaning Collective – a collective of gleaning organizations throughout the state committed to building a dependable food system.
Our Fair Share Program
Income eligible community members and social service agencies sign up each spring for our 16-week Fair Share Program (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). Pickups take place every Monday afternoon at the Intervale Center. Hunger Free Vermont attends each Fair Share pick-up to provide taste tests, 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, Intervale Community Farm and Jericho Settler’s Farm host gleaners weekly throughout the season and countless other farms 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.
Funding for Intervale Gleaning & Food Rescue in 2018 was provided by Gardener’s Supply Company, National Life Group, United Way of Northwest Vermont, Maximus Foundation, Community Bank, NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Northfield Savings Bank, and generous individual donors.
Total Food Gleaned
Families Fed Through Fair Share
For general interest or questions about eligibility or to sign up, please contact Sarah Alexander at email@example.com or 802-660-0440 x120.