Explore: Recipients

Land’s Generosity Passed Forward to Others

In a year of uncertainty, one thing has held steady: the unending generosity of the land. Our fields and soils are oblivious to the global pandemic, political turmoil, and painful systemic injustices exposed across the nation. The land gives. The soil teems with microorganisms busily enhancing fertility to support our growing vegetables. Through the gifts […]

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 […]

Hidden Epidemic Now in Plain Sight

The data came in, and it was sobering.   This past summer, we needed to prepare for a tripling in the number of people participating in Food for Families, our free farmers market. While shocking, the numbers weren’t surprising. We saw this increased need across the board from all our partner agencies, and news reports indicated […]

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 […]

Sudbury Food Pantry in the time of COVID

At the Sudbury Food Pantry, a small team of dedicated adults works each week on Tuesday and Thursday to distribute groceries to approximately 50 hungry families. Beginning in late May, the pantry saw a sharp uptick in attendance when it began to distribute fresh spring produce from Gaining Ground. Wide-eyed families saw the gorgeous heads […]

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 […]

Food for Families Repackaged during the Pandemic

During the pandemic, we have reorganized our Food for Families market serving the Concord and Carlisle communities. Staff and board members pre-assemble the produce into grocery bags at the farm. It takes four vehicles, packed full, to deliver the bags to the distribution site. Long-time board member Lucy Rosborough greets over 60 households, up from […]

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 […]

Building New Bridges

This year, thanks to a generous grant from Adobe Foundation, Gaining Ground has entered into a new partnership with Bridge Boston, a Roxbury charter school where 100 percent of the student population qualify for free lunch. We send weekly distributions of produce to the students, and the students help us as volunteers on the farm. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rolling Out Produce to our Partners

Although it was just the seed of an idea in March, June’s rollout of produce to our partner organizations is now transitioning into a steady weekly rhythm of harvesting, washing, boxing, weighing and loading. Our partners include: Tuesdays: Head Start, House of Hope, Loaves & Fishes, Pine Street Inn, Sudbury Food Pantry Thursdays: Bedford Food […]
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