Explore: Recipients

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 […]

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 […]

Learning from Our Partners: Food Insecurity in 2021

Throughout the harvest season, produce from Gaining Ground goes to meal programs, food pantries, schools, and shelters in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Some of these dedicated organizations use our food to prepare and distribute free meals for people who need them. Others give our vegetables, herbs, and fruit away as part of providing free […]

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 […]

In Full Bloom: A Closer Look at Gaining Ground’s Flowers

Through the hot, dry days of June, soggy gray days of July, and all the way into October, the flowers at Gaining Ground were a feast of color and light. Heaps of zinnias fluttered in the breeze, waving intense blooms of purples, golden yellows, and stunning coral reds. Tall stands of verbena, with bright green […]

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 […]

Partner Spotlight: Daniel’s Table Provides More Than Meals in Framingham

Our newest recipient partner is Daniel’s Table, which provides food and nutritional education to folks struggling with food insecurity in Framingham. Gaining Ground’s communications manager, Christine Savage, recently interviewed Daniel’s Table’s co-founder, Alicia Blais, about the organization’s mission, programming, and what they’re getting up to this busy summer. Alicia, could you please give us an […]

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 […]

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 […]
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