Letter to the editor: Area farmers donated surplus food to those in need

Did you know that in 2017 Addison County farmers donated 32,000 pounds of local fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, and cheese to HOPE? This generosity was made possible through our Local Food Access program, which seeks to bridge the gap between the surplus produce available from local farms and the need for more nutritious fruits and vegetables among low-income households.
As summer returns to Vermont, we are preparing for yet another exciting growing season. Our work is accomplished primarily through gleaning — a centuries old practice of harvesting and collecting surplus food not bound for any type of market. We are fortunate to have so many farmers willing to allow us onto their fields or set aside seconds for us to pick up. We share this generous bounty not only at HOPE’s food shelf, but with 16 other organizations across the county who also work with low income households.
We could not accomplish this work without the help of volunteers. Our program offers a variety of opportunities for community members to become engaged with our food rescue efforts including: delivering produce to charitable sites, collecting unsold produce at the Middlebury Farmers Market, assisting with in-field gleans, and helping to process produce to freeze for future use at HOPE’s food shelf.
If you are interested in learning more about our program or any of these volunteer opportunities you can contact our Local Food Access Coordinator Lily Bradburn at 388-3608 or [email protected].
Thank you again to all the farmers and volunteers who make our work possible.
Lily Bradburn

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