Explore: Hunger Relief

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 […]

Partner Spotlight: Healthy Waltham

This month we paused to catch up with our recipient partner Healthy Waltham, which promotes collaborative approaches to improving the health and wellness of under-resourced populations in Waltham. They do this through programs that increase access to healthy foods, provide nutrition education, and create opportunities for physical activity.  We spoke with Operations Director Maria DiMaggio […]

A Throughline from Food Access to Health Equity

We know that food security in Massachusetts—and throughout the country—is caused by many interconnected social and economic conditions. The effects of the pandemic have added yet another layer of complexity to the issue.  Looking at the populations that have been hit hardest by both food insecurity and COVID-19, it is clear that access to food—or […]

Food for Families Market is Back!

Our Food for Families market—serving the Concord and Carlisle communities—returns this month. Staff and board members pre-assemble produce fresh from the farm into grocery bags, which they deliver to the distribution site in Concord. Rain or shine, the market takes place Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., from June 19 – October 2, 2021. […]

One for the Record Books

Gaining Ground’s 2020 growing season was memorable for many reasons. A pandemic altered our lives and behaviors forever. Food insecurity skyrocketed, both in Massachusetts and across the nation. Our caterpillar tunnels were damaged by a microburst storm in April, and we reluctantly suspended our volunteer program for the first time in the organization’s 26 year […]

Growing Community Together with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation

Last March, as the pandemic swept across the country, it didn’t take long before the folks at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) started to hear stories of people in need of personal protective equipment—gloves, masks, hand sanitizer. So they set to work creating an emergency fund for grants to address these new needs, and […]

The Measure of a Year

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.How do you measure,Measure a year?” Musical theater buffs may recognize the lyric above from Rent and a song that explores how one defines the truly important events that occur during the course of a year. The Tony award-winning play celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and multiple casts have […]

A Tumultuous Year

First and foremost, the board thanks everyone who made our year on the farm one of the most productive in our history. Despite some unexpected and challenging issues, we delivered over 440,000 servings of food and grew more than 110,000 pounds. Just a sampling of our challenges included COVID-19, which forced us to suspend our […]

Recipient Spotlight: East Boston Community Soup Kitchen

Our newest recipient partner is the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen, which provides meals and groceries to those struggling with food insecurity, homelessness, and other challenges in East Boston. Our program manager, Allison Goodwin, recently interviewed the Kitchen’s founder and executive director, Sandra Niijjar, about her mission to feed her community. Sandra is second from […]

Expanding our Reach

Partnerships are a vital component of Gaining Ground’s success. It is through our long-standing relationships with local hunger relief organizations that the nutritious bounty of the farm reaches thousands of our underserved neighbors each season. In response to skyrocketing food insecurity associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we entered into several new partnerships this spring. GreenRoots […]

Keeping up with Demand

As food insecurity surges, hunger relief organizations adapt to keep up “The numbers are staggering,” Erin Kuschner writes in a June 26 article on Boston.com.  Food insecurity could affect one in eight residents of Eastern Massachusetts by the end of the year, according to the hunger relief organization Feeding America. That represents an increase of […]

New Recipient Profile: GreenRoots in Chelsea

This year has brought plenty of unforeseen challenges as well as growth, re-calibration, and hidden blessings. The COVID-19 pandemic in early March forced some of our largest partners, such as Boston’s Pine Street Inn, to temporarily stop accepting produce from Gaining Ground due to safety and logistical concerns. While some channels closed, other new partnerships […]

Growing to Meet Growing Need

We donated 60% more produce this April compared to a year ago, thanks to two additional hoop houses providing warm shelter for more early spring crops. With the current pandemic, this increase has been well timed. At a time when fresh local vegetables are scarce, Open Table in Maynard and Concord Public Schools have gratefully received […]

Farm to Table, Farm to Community

For twenty five years, Gaining Ground has pursued its mission to grow and give away healthy produce for hunger relief with the help of volunteers and community. While the mission has been steadfast, the chapters along the way have evolved. During the past seven years, we have focused on increasing output on our 3.5 acres of cultivated land by […]

Topping the Scales

Between April and December 2018, we donated a record 99,000 pounds of organic produce to our twelve hunger-relief partner organizations. By gradually improving our soil, infrastructure, and farming practices with investments in irrigation, fencing, personnel, and shelters, we have raised production almost 300 percent—up from 34,000 pounds in 2013. This is a wonderful by-product of […]
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