Gleaners Collected, Distributed 28,000 Pounds of Food in 2019
Thanks to the incredible generosity of community members across the Downeast region, Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Gleaning Initiative collected and distributed 28,042 pounds of produce from farms and gardens across Hancock and Washington counties in 2019. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the 155 volunteers, including the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, public school and college students, and community members who supported the project.
The Gleaning Initiative partners with farms and food pantries to make fresh, local produce available to more people across the two counties. Developed in 2013 in partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the project has collected 256,000 pounds of produce from farms, farmers markets, orchards, and gardens across the Downeast region.
Highlights from the 2019 season include:
- The renovation of a 3,000 square foot garden at Washington Academy in East Machias, where 4-H Tech Changemakers, Master Gardeners and community members grew over 2,000 pounds of produce
- Collaboration with eight schools to engage 106 students in gleaning activities
- A new partnership with Bucksport Regional Health Center to provide free gleaned produce to patients
- Partnership with the Ellsworth Drug Treatment Court to provide 285 pounds of free produce, recipes, and nutrition information to people in recovery
- Engagement with seven youth through Healthy Acadia’s Teen Ag Program to construct a 1,500 square foot memorial garden at Narraguagus Junior-Senior High School in Harrington
- The annual Apple Glean at Johnston’s Orchard in Ellsworth. On a sunny fall morning, 48 volunteers came together to harvest over 7,600 pounds of apples for 28 food security agencies across the region. Special thanks to Marjorie Peronto, Univ. of Maine Extension Educator for the two counties, who organizes the annual event, and to Brett and Doris Johnston, who generously host the event each year.
- 100% of Gleaning Initiative volunteers report a deeper connection to their local food system as a result of their involvement, and 60% have increased their own consumption of local food.
Healthy Acadia would like to thank their valued farm and garden partners: Backstage Farm, Bar Harbor Farm, Beech Hill Farm, Blue Hill Garden Club, Blue Hill Farmers Market, Blue Zee Farm, Burke Hill Farm, Clayfield Farm, COA Community Garden, Crossroad Farm, Eden Farmers Market, Ellsworth Farmers Market, Folklore Farm, Four Season Farm, Holy Redemption Catholic Church, Hope’s Edge Farm, Horsepower Farm, J&P’s Farmstand, Johnston’s Orchard, Josh Pond Farm, King Hill Farm, Mill Farm, Old Dog Baking Co., Pat & Mike’s Garden, Salsbury Organics, Schoodic Hollow Farm, Simons Hancock Farm, Tide Mill Organic Farm, Washington Academy, Welch Farm, Wild Tilth Farm, Wise Acres Farm, Wreaths Across America.
The Gleaning Initiative depends on volunteers! To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Regina in Washington County at 207-255-3741 or by email at [email protected], and Rachel in Hancock County at 207-667-7171 or by email at [email protected].
Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.