What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is the act of gathering leftover food and produce from local farms and gardens after a harvest. The TCK program gleans from a dozen farms throughout Cheshire County each year.
The Community Kitchen has successfully maintained our gleaning program for 10 years.
The Community Kitchen, Cheshire County’s largest food pantry, is working
hard to meet the rising needs for access to fresh foods in our region.
Another seed we’ve planted toward building local sustainable equitable food systems is the process of Gleaning. We accept food from local gardens and farms throughout the region that is redistributed to our guests through our pantry boxes and hot meals. We are collaborating with community garden connections and we’ve hired a seasonal intern who is an environmental education grad student at Antioch University New England to run the program throughout the summer. In 2022, 22,528 lbs. of food were gleaned, which is significantly smaller than past years. We are hoping to see an increase in this number with the help of Antioch interns.
The Power of Community
The Community Kitchen’s program has partnerships with around a dozen farms and community gardens throughout Cheshire County. The food collected through field gleans goes directly to community members who need it most through The Community Kitchen’s Pantry and Hot Meals programs.
Additionally, as part of New Hampshire Gleans, The Community Kitchen works alongside organizations across the state to broaden the awareness and impact of gleaning on addressing food insecurity in our region.
Our Gleaning Coordinator, Julie Stoner
Julie Stoner, The Community Kitchen’s Gleaning Coordinator for the 2023 season, is a master’s student at Antioch University of New England studying Environmental Studies with a focus on Environmental Education. She is also part of the Antioch-based Community Garden Connections group, who coordinate a network of community gardens in the Keene area. Julie will be the first in a planned partnership between The Community Kitchen and Antioch University with the goal that a new Antioch student will fill the Gleaning Coordinator role each year.
Originally from New Mexico, Julie graduated from Oberlin College in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. Throughout her time in college and beyond, Julie has volunteered at local community gardens and food pantries. Prior to beginning her program at Antioch, Julie spent an AmeriCorps service year in Minnesota working for the American Indian Community Housing Organization, an Indigenous-led nonprofit committed to addressing the needs of the Native American communities of Minnesota. In this role, Julie worked extensively on their food sovereignty and accessibility programming, helping to coordinate summer farmer’s markets and food distributions.
As Gleaning Coordinator for The Community Kitchen, Julie will connect with local farmers and community garden organizers. In addition to leading gleaning events, Julie will work to expand and connect with The Community Kitchen’s incredible volunteer network.
Julie is excited to engage with community members as much as possible, bringing greater awareness of food insecurity in Cheshire County, as well as the vital role gleaning plays in meeting the fresh produce needs of our community.
The Community Kitchen is looking for community volunteers for our gleaning program this season! For more information, contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We connect with farmers and food producers across the county and pick up or harvest any good quality items that would not otherwise make it to market.
Volunteers Make Gleaning A Huge Success
Where Does It All Come From? How Can I Make Sure My Neighbors And Community Have Food? Wondering How To Get Involved In The Community Kitchen’s Gleaning Program?
Volunteering for the TCK gleaning program is as easy as signing up online. At New Hampshire Gleans, you need only indicate your region and availability. The Gleaning coordinator will contact the volunteers when gleaning opportunities become available.
We invite volunteers to help with field gleans. These will be trips to local farms and orchards in Cheshire County. Usually the scheduled gleans take place for a 2-hour time period.
Sometimes we invite volunteers to help with a ‘post-harvest pick-up,’ which means that the farm is donating food that they have harvested, and we simply need to pack up the produce. Some farms donate so much produce that this can also be a 2-hour-plus project.
Won’t you join us? https://nhgleans.org
The Community Kitchen’s Gleaning Sources
Charitable Gardens – Community Gardens – Commercial Growers
ANTIOCH CAMPUS GARDEN
ANGEL WING FARM
C&S GARDENS AT OPTICAL AVE. & SUMMIT RD.
FERTILE FIELDS FARM
COMMUNITY GARDEN CONNECTIONS WESTMORELAND GARDEN PROJECT
GILSUM-BASED SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT
GREEN WAGON FARM
KEENE FARMER’S MARKET
KEENE HOUSING AUTHORITY
LITTLE GREENS (MICROGREENS)
LUCKY 13 FARM
MAPLE LANE FARM- LYNDEBOROUGH
MINI HILL FARM
NEW DAWN FARM
NYE HILL FARM
RICK’S VEGETABLE STAND
TRACIE’S COMMUNITY FARM
THE WHEELOCK SCHOOL GARDEN
WALPOLE VALLEY FARM