Thursday, January 2, 2014

Letter to the Editor

Healthy Acadia and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension would like to express our deep appreciation to the volunteers, farmers and gardeners that made the 2013 Gleaning Initiative such a success. Together, we delivered more than 10,000 pounds of locally grown fresh food to the meal sites and food pantries serving our Hancock County communities; food that would otherwise have been left lying in the fields.

The gleaning activities enabled community members of all ages to experience a healthy and educational farm activity, further strengthening the local food system’s community ties. The events provided an excellent opportunity for community members, some of whom were experiencing the need for food assistance, to learn more about the local foods available in our communities.

We were honored to have Backstage Farm (Blue Hill), 
Bar Harbor Community Farm (MDI), 
Beech Hill Farm (MDI), 
Clayfield Farm (Blue Hill), 
College of the Atlantic Community Garden (MDI), 
Four Season Farm (Harborside), 
Jackson Lab Community Garden (MDI)
, King Hill Farm (Penobscot), 
North Branch Farm (Monroe), 
Old Ackley Farm (Blue Hill), Star Root Farm (Ellsworth), 
Smith Family Farm (MDI), Tinder Hearth Bakery (Brooksville), and 
White’s Farm (Winterport) choose to serve Healthy Acadia’s Gleaning Initiative by opening their fields up for gleaning, donating food or providing strategic support.

We were equally touched by the support from our community members. We could not have done this without the loyal volunteer hours of Martha Bell (Blue Hill), Mary Hartley (Brooksville), Tina Keagley (Sedgwick), Donna Caldwell (Penobscot), Susan Walsh (Ellsworth), Mollie Heron (Orland) and Mary-Alice Hervitt of Farm Drop who provided the Blue Hill Peninsula Gleaning Team with an operations center at the Wineshop. We could also not have done this without members of the MDI High School Interact Club and the MDI Life Skills Class, as well as COA students, who helped make the October 16th MDI Global Food Day a 400lbs gleaning success. And we extend our deep appreciation to the many other volunteers who participated in the gleaning activities throughout the year. Every bit of support increases our ability to make lasting improvements to health throughout Hancock County and beyond. Thank you again so very much to the volunteers, farms, and gardeners for your participation, dedication and support for healthy living. Together, your efforts help make our communities vibrant places to live.

With appreciation,
Hannah Semler

Happy 2014_NPR on gleaning

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