Explore: Hunger Relief

Farming for Hunger Relief

Farmers keep the world nourished. However we get the fruits and vegetables that we eat, we know that they arrive to us thanks to people who work with the soil, sun, and rain to bring crops from seed to harvest.  Uniquely, Gaining Ground’s farmers know that the produce they grow goes exclusively to people who […]

Holding in the Heat: A Closer Look at Our Winter Farming Practices

Winter is officially here and although the pace on the farm has eased, our harvests don’t take a holiday this time of year. We’ve continued to distribute crops like arugula, bok choy, carrots, mustard greens, and spinach this month, and will continue to do so throughout the season. Winter farming is critical to our efforts […]

Our Thanksgiving Distribution Brings Winter Food Insecurity into Focus

On Saturday, we held our annual pre-Thanksgiving distribution of fresh, organic produce in Concord. In coordination with Concord and Carlisle’s Councils on Aging and Community Services, we use this final Food for Families market to give away hefty amounts of nutritious greens and storage crops to more than 100 households experiencing food insecurity.  At this […]

Partner Spotlight: Eastie Farm

When we talk with our hunger-relief partner Eastie Farm about their work over the past year, the first thing they mention is the need.  The need for better access to affordable food in East Boston. The need for fresh, organic produce. The need for equitable opportunities for health and well-being. “There is one grocery store […]

Culturally Considerate: Growing Crops that Our Clients Want

Smells of molé simmering on the stove. Red chiles decorating the walls. A bloated belly from cheesy dishes. These are a few of my favorite food memories.  Food connects us to our ancestors. Our spirits crave the foods our ancestors grew and ate. I am a white Mexican-American reconnecting with my ancestors through food and […]

The 2022 High School Farm Team: Growing More Than Food in Our Fields

Every year, Gaining Ground welcomes a team of local high school students who volunteer in the fields during their summer vacation. They learn and work alongside our farmers under the scorching sun and the pummeling rain, preparing the soil, transplanting seedlings, hand-weeding vegetable beds, and harvesting nutrient-dense produce for hunger relief. Throughout the 2022 season, […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Laurie Gleason

There are many reasons why we love that Concord is a town flush with cyclists, but chief among them may be that a bicycle is what first brought volunteer Laurie Gleason to Gaining Ground’s fields. “I biked in many years ago. When we stopped there was one person working in the fields, and there was […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Allison Aley

At Gaining Ground, our hunger-relief work is made possible by a community of volunteers that embodies a dedication to sustainable, holistic farming practices and uprooting food insecurity rivaled only by that of our incredible farmers.  A standout member of this outstanding team is Allison Aley. We caught up with Allison to learn more about her […]

August New Board Member Spotlights

We are thrilled to welcome several new members to our board of directors this year who bring with them a wealth of creativity, passion, and meaningful insight. This August, we’re going to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about two of these new members of the Gaining Ground team, Yvette Philip and Sigmund […]

Women’s Lunch Place: Growing Community Wellness Through Food, Fun, and Education

Having a conversation with a talented chef about meals cooked from scratch with farm-fresh ingredients is a surefire way to jumpstart your appetite. “Yesterday I had garlic scapes, we also got pea shoots, and then some spinach. I blended it all together—then I added a couple of magical ingredients—and it’s just this really beautiful herby […]

From the Lab to the Farm

MIT Brings a Drip Irrigation Prototype to Gaining Ground’s Fields “What’s that?” has been a particularly frequent question from our volunteers this year, and they’re not just talking about equipment, plants, insects, or other common farm-related mysteries.  This year, the source of curiosity has tended to be a massive black drum, orange metal box, and […]

Deepening Our Partnership with the Soil

The past two years have been a picture-perfect lesson in why our relationship with the land we cultivate is one of ongoing commitment and learning. A drought in 2020, followed by extraordinary heat and rain in 2021, took their toll on farms across New England—and Gaining Ground was no exception. We watched as our farm […]

Support Gaining Ground in the Ride for Food, 5K Walk for Food, or Off the Beaten Path!

The Ride for Food is a fun, friendly charity bike ride organized by Three Squares New England. For the sixth year, Gaining Ground is organizing a team to take part in the Ride and help us fight food insecurity.  Over the past decade, the Ride for Food has raised over $3.7 million for local hunger-relief organizations in Massachusetts. This […]

Celebrating Art and Shedding Light on Food Insecurity

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “I could not be a poet without the natural world.” And it is in this spirit that we are bringing a celebration of art to the farm this year. Throughout our fields this spring, we have set up a self-guided farm tour of […]

Nutritious Food, Just out of Reach

“Wow.” The clerk at my neighborhood grocery store took a pause from scanning the items I’d placed on the conveyor belt, a bit stunned by what he’d seen on the cash register.   “These cherries are over $15. Do you still want them?”  I looked at the not-very-large bag the clerk was holding and answered that […]

The Abundance of Four Seasons

Each season at Gaining Ground brings challenges as well as successes; rewarding reminders of the impact and importance of our hunger-relief mission. Foremost among these in 2021 was the return of our volunteer program after a pandemic-driven hiatus. The joy of those first April volunteers was undeniable in their warm smiles, rolled-up sleeves, and dirt-caked […]

Rooted in Community: The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest

You don’t have to look very hard to find the parallels between Gaining Ground and the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.  “The work that Gaining Ground does is at the core of why the Community Chest does what we do: You grow food locally, you harvest it, and then you distribute it back to people with the […]

As Food Costs Rise, Gaining Ground Continues Winter Harvests for Hunger Relief

This winter has proved to be an especially harsh one for people experiencing food insecurity.  Supply chain woes and labor shortages left the shelves at some grocery stores sparsely stocked. Food prices are the highest they’ve been in years, making it more difficult for folks to afford the food they need. As a result, more […]

With Food Costs Rising, Hunger Relief Can Start With Storage

On a bright, warm November afternoon two weeks ago, the Gaining Ground team gathered in front of the barn—some of us wearing t-shirts in the midday sun that filtered through the treetops along the edge of the farm. We set out hefty boxes and bags of harvested vegetables and got to work assembling and filling […]

Partner Spotlight: House of Hope

For November, we’re taking the opportunity to catch up with our recipient partner House of Hope, which runs programs and permanent housing services with the goal of ending homelessness in Lowell. They do this through a commitment to transitioning families experiencing homelessness into greater social and economic stability.  As a part of their work, they […]
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