Boston Area Gleaners, a local nonprofit, is acquiring a farm in Acton – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-07-22 07:46:51 –


“It’s in our mutual favor.”

Boston Area Gleaners will be closed at Stonefield Farm on July 30th. Boston Area Greener

In just 27 days, a local non-profit organization dedicated to food and hunger relief Donation of $ 85,000 Buy Acton’s Farm.

Boston Area Greener, Or BAG, began working with farmers in 2004 to collect and harvest surplus crops from the fields. This is an old practice known as “Gleaning”. When BAG was first established, it was a volunteer-based organization focused solely on gleaning. However, in recent years, the organization has expanded and launched a number of programs focused on hunger relief and food insecurity.

Alliance with Recipient, BAG provides a system for delivering collected produce to food banks and pantry in eastern Massachusetts.Currently, non-profit organizations remain Gleaning organization on the only farm regional.

BAG currently holds a lease of Acton’s real estate. Stonefield Farm, And its purchase puts 51 acres of land under agricultural restrictions. The town of Acton will also donate $ 1.2 million as community protection funds that are part of the purchase price to protect assets and use them permanently in agriculture.

A small portion of the land serves as the main operating base for gleaning, where offices, loading docks, refrigerated warehouses, and several greenhouses are located.

“We needed a facility with that capability, but we really wanted to be on the farm. It gives us a lot of opportunities to think creatively about our programming. Nonprofits. Usha Thakrar, the secretary general of the company, told

BAG will be closed on the farm on July 30th.

Nonprofits have not yet decided on the main purpose of the farm, but Taclar said he would help the group bring together agricultural and food system leaders in a world of food insecurity and make decisions sometime in the fall or winter. Told. This season, the former owner of the farm will continue to harvest the remaining crops and BAG will support sales and distribution.

Although undecided, Taklar has some ideas about what BAG can do on farmland.

“In the future, we want to make sure that we are developing programming on the farm that is in line with our mission,” she said.

One program could be to support young and emerging farmers who do not have land by providing capital resources such as leasing part of the farm. Following the organization’s mission statement on hunger relief, BAG can also start growing crops on farms and sell them through one of its programs. Boston Food Hub..

According to Thakrar, the Boston Food Hub has evolved over the past few years as a revenue-generating sector for BAG’s operations. Nonprofits are working with farmers to reduce food waste by gleaning, but donating surplus produce is also not a financially ideal outcome for farmers. She said she learned from her many years of relationship building. Instead, the Food Hub Program increases farmers’ opportunities to sell their produce to different markets, reduces food waste and increases revenue opportunities.

With its own farm, BAG will be a “game changer” for the receiving agency, Tim Cavaletta’s operations manager. Free food,Said.

In the case of an emergency food system, produce can be difficult to obtain, especially during the off-season. He said that during the winter, Food for Free has access to some produce, such as root vegetables like potatoes. However, if BAG grows its own produce, the farm can continue to supply it from late autumn to early winter and provide it to recipients such as Food for Free, Cabaletta said.

Catherine Lin, Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations Greater Boston Food BankAnother agency, one of the BAG’s receiving agencies, said that gleaning to acquire a farm could be a transition from a gleaning-only organization to a more localized hub for food rescue and distribution. I said there is.

“This is a win-win for us, as it is often difficult to contract with all these small farms,” says Lin. “But with some sort of centralized hub, you can have a bigger commitment.”

Food Banks and Pantry in Eastern Massachusetts Demand has increased significantly Between COVID-19 Pandemic.. According to Lin, food insecurity in eastern Massachusetts increased by 30%, and the Greater Boston Food Bank distributed about 60% more food to meet demand.

Despite the resumption of the local economy and the reduction of COVID-19 infections in the state due to high pandemics, food banks such as Greater Boston Food Bank and Food for Free have significantly reduced the number of people seeking help. Is not … As the available coronavirus-related economic resources fluctuate, food banks and pantry will continue to see the steady amount of people using food and resources in the system, Cabaletta said.

“Unfortunately, Massachusetts has a very short growth period here, so there is very little we can do in the state,” said Lin. “But if partners like Boston Area Gleaners can easily incorporate local food into these larger systems like emergency food systems, I think we’ll get better results in the long run.”

Boston Area Gleaners, a local nonprofit, is acquiring a farm in Acton Source link Boston Area Gleaners, a local nonprofit, is acquiring a farm in Acton

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