Explore: Hunger Relief

A Healthy Farm Culture

Board member Linda Booth Sweeney received a poignant piece by Wendell Berry from Schumacher Center for New Economics, with its mission to envision a just and sustainable global economy; apply the concepts locally; then share the results for broad replication. This writing seems relevant to the work at Gaining Ground while we address hunger relief. A culture […]

The Progress and Power of Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground drew me to Concord. For 20 years, I brought my students from Nashoba Brooks School to volunteer in the garden and consequently viewed the program through a seventh-grade lens. Some responded to the sheer physicality of the work, some marveled (or screamed) at worms in the soil, some became passionately enraged about childhood […]

Widening the Circle with Ride for Food

On a beautiful fall morning, more than 350 bikers from all over eastern Massachusetts arrived at Nobles and Greenough School to fight hunger by participating in the Three Squares New England Ride for Food. Started in 2012, this 10- to 50-mile cycling event has raised more than $1.6 million for the benefit of its 18 […]

Rosie’s Place and Gaining Ground Team Up to Take on Hunger

As guests peruse items at the Rosie’s Place food pantry in downtown Boston, the odds are good that the fruits, vegetables and herbs they’re choosing from were grown in Concord. Gaining Ground, a nonprofit organic farm on Virginia Road, is in its third year of providing fresh produce to Boston’s longest-running women’s shelter. “It’s a […]

Hunger Relief from the Ground Up: Secret is in the Soil

At the end of March, Gaining Ground hosted an interdisciplinary panel focused on the issue of hunger relief. In a community like ours, hunger might not be obvious, but here are the numbers:

  • 41 million Americans are hungry, and yet 40% of food in the US is thrown away during the growing, distribution, and dining process.
  • Children struggle with hunger with 1 in 8 children in Eastern MA being food insecure and 1 in 6, nationally.
  • 800,000 Massachusetts residents do not know where their next meal will come from, an increase of 71% in the last decade.

Our panel included:

  • Danielle Nierenberg, activist, author, and journalist. She co-founded Food Tank, a non-profit organization that researches food systems, hunger, and poverty.
  • Dr. Kathryn Brodowski, preventive medicine physician who specializes in food insecurity and nutrition. She oversees both program and research at The Greater Boston Food Bank.
  • Doug Wolcik, farm manager at Gaining Ground.  Doug has focused on soil health and introduced no-till agricultural practices to Gaining Ground, a switch that has vastly increased the amount of food donated to hunger relief efforts.

We had a full crowd join us for an evening of discussion about food security, human health and one of the most surprising levers for positive change: the soil beneath our feet.

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Leaps and Bounds

It is magical to watch the ebb and flow of farm activities throughout the season and the improvements in production annually. Last year was a big year from beginning to end. In 2017 we donated the most produce in five years and, for the first time, we distributed every month, January through December. Thankfully, our continually […]

A Match Made in Concord

Say the words “food pantry,” and most people think of canned vegetables and boxes of pasta. But more and more, a large portion of the food that pantries give out is fresh and local. So when Open Table’s community dinner and food pantry looked to expand their fresh food offerings, naturally they looked to Gaining […]

Hunger Relief from the Ground Up

Gaining Ground presents: Hunger Relief: From the Ground Up Thursday, March 29, 2018 • 7 p.m. The Fenn School—Ward Hall • 516 Monument Street • Concord, MA 01742 Please join us for an evening of discussion about food security, human health and one of the most surprising levers for positive change: the soil beneath our […]

Insights from Recipient Visits

At the beginning of the summer, Gretchen Nelson, head of the board’s Recipient Committee, and I scheduled visits to the amazing organizations that distribute our produce. With growing season in full swing, seeing our vegetables filling tables, shelves, and bags was clearly going to be powerful. I had been told that our produce is often […]

Summer Markets Update

Market season is upon us. Tomatoes are ripening up and our fall plants are going in the ground this week. Here are a few highlights from our markets where we directly distribute our produce. Head Start Markets in Lowell We are off to a great start at our two markets for Head Start families in […]

Partners Receiving More Produce Sooner

Thanks to improved farming practices and expanded infrastructure, for the first time ever Gaining Ground has donated produce each month this year and started full-season distribution earlier in June than previous years. Through May 2017, Open Table (Concord/Maynard) and Mill City Grows (Lowell) received 2,500 pounds of hardy winter/early spring vegetables, three times more than […]

Mill City Grows With Gaining Ground

For the first time ever, we grew and harvested fresh produce throughout the winter, thanks to improved infrastructure and evolving farming practices. Just as the crops were ready to pick, we discovered that Mill City Grows in Lowell was in short supply of fresh, locally grown vegetables for its nutritional cooking classes. Mill City Grows […]

Growing Food, Growing Community: Volunteer Impact in 2016

Did you volunteer at Gaining Ground last year? If so, you were one of more than 3,000 volunteers who contributed to 7,500-plus hours of planting, weeding, watering, and carefully tending the rainbow of produce on Gaining Ground’s farm. These efforts helped us reach more than 600 families in need with 180,000-plus servings of organic, fresh […]

Cooking Up Fresh, Organic Veggies at Waltham Boys and Girls Club

How fortunate we are that Liza Connolly, chef and co-founder of Kids Cooking Green, has volunteered to pick up and help prepare our produce weekly during this fall’s pilot partnership program with Waltham Boys and Girls Club (WBGC). With a mission to inspire youth to reach their full potential, WBGC offers a welcoming space weekdays […]

Why I Love Gaining Ground

This is a farm to feed neighbors, a civic investment for long-term yields without the government’s hand in the matter. This is about respect for land and food, and the dignity of people who have neither. Gaining Ground is a participatory philanthropy, like an employee stock-option program for community development. The yields are measured in […]

Rosie’s Place: Our Newest Recipient

Another record-breaking harvest gave our farmers a problem that was a pleasure to solve: we had to find another group to receive the bounty from our fields. Rosie’s Place in Boston proved to be ideal. It meets our criteria for distribution—it is located within 20 miles of our farm, has a “choice” pantry and refrigeration, […]

Visionaries in Hunger Relief

At the end of March at The Fenn School, Gaining Ground hosted a multi-generational panel focused on the issue of hunger relief. In a community like ours, hunger might not be obvious, but here are the numbers: 49 million Americans are hungry, and yet 40% of food in the US is thrown away during the growing, distribution, […]