Boston Area Gleaners, Inc.

At A Glance

Contact: 

Laurie Caldwell

Location: 

Waltham, Massachusetts

Primary Issue Area:

  • Food

Active since:

2004

Grants Received In:

  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2010
  • 2008

Tax Status:

501(c)(3)

Core volunteers:

8

Community Size:

61,918

Our Purpose

to rescue surplus farm crops for people in need. We deliver high quality, local produce to pantries and meal programs by working closely with local farmers, providing volunteer labor to harvest what would otherwise be plowed under. Our activities, in collaboration and cooperation with other organizations in the area, contribute to efforts to build sustainable and equitable local food systems.

Summary of Projects

Boston Area Gleaners received a Grow grant in 2014 to transfer and streamline internal financial systems as part of a broader strategic goal to scale programming and to spark and support gleaning efforts in new regions of the state. This work emerged as a key organizational capacity need following the group’s strategic planning process in 2013.

BAG received a Grow grant in 2013 to hire a financial and strategic planning consultant to assist BAG in identifying our current real and future costs, as well as to assist and guide the staff and board of directors through the organization's first strategic planning retreat. This need for internal assessment has emerged after a period of steady financial growth over the past three years, so we are currently approaching this process from a point of strength, not desperation.

The group received a grow grant in 2012 to build the capacity of the organization. The creation of the new Gleaning Coordinator position will enable BAG to cultivate an increased number of reliable season-to-season farm partnerships. The farmers that the group works with are thrilled to have an outlet for produce that would otherwise be wasted, but the partnerships are contingent on a continued ability to conduct consistently low-impact and respectful visits.

Boston Area Gleaners received a grant in 2010 for office expenses (rent and travel expenses to farms) to support its organizing/facilitating gleaning efforts at local area farms by communicating with farmers/farmers markets, working with social service (recipient) organizations and maintaining a growing list of volunteers.

Boston Area Gleaners recevied a small grant in 2008 to start Boston Area Gleaners as a functioning non-profit with a part time coordinator/director and a goal to quadruple the produce gleaned, from 233 boxes of produce to 1,000, from 7,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds. In addition to ramping up the gleaning effort, the coordinator will find other support, both foundations and individuals, and will locate and coordinate volunteers for the gleaning.

Helpful Resources

  • Salem Harvest

    Salem Harvest is developing online systems which help with volunteer organizing and gleaning data management.

  • Salvation Farms

    An amazing model of the potential of agricultural surplus recovery on a statewide level.