Welcome to New Board Members

This summer the Gaining Ground board welcomed two new talented members, Jen Flint and Polly Vanasse.

Jen Flint is a freelance writer in Concord. She worked previously as a writer/editor at Wellesley College’s alumnae magazine, Harvard Business Publishing, and NPR. She left desk-job life for a few years in there to work on the crew at Lindentree Farm in Lincoln. There she helped manage the Field of Greens, a portion of land devoted to growing produce for donation to Food for Free. She first visited Gaining Ground in 2006, when the Lindentree crew helped then-manager Verena Wieloch mound beds by hand to plant sweet potatoes. Jen came back to witness and write about the barn raising, and then she was hooked. She’s happy to be volunteering in Gaining Ground’s fields and joining the board, contributing to communications and outreach efforts and supporting the mission of growing produce for hunger relief.

Polly Vanasse first fell in love with Gaining Ground her third year teaching at Nashoba Brooks School, when her class worked at the gardens, picking and sorting apples. Over the next 20 years, she and her students volunteered in the gardens twice a year, eventually adapting a curriculum about Thoreau as they raised heirloom tomatoes each spring at school and then planted and harvested at the Old Manse. Her classes learned that their service helped level the playing field for the many hungry families served by Gaining Ground, all while they developed a passion for gardening.

Polly retired from teaching last year and spent a year traveling to national parks while reflecting on the next chapter of her life. She recognized that Gaining Ground must be a central part of it and is delighted to join the board and to work with volunteers and recipients.