October 6, 2016
Morning Glory has consistently been the biggest local donor to the gleaning program, which rescues surplus produce from island farms and redirects it to community members in need. Year after year, they have generously offered a share of their abundance - crops ranging from sweet corn to kale and winter squash.
In 2009, when the gleaning program was in its infancy, Morning Glory Farm was the first to allow volunteer harvest crews to take produce from their fields. That year, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and more went directly to school cafeterias. Since then, Island Grown Initiative’s gleaning program has expanded their deliveries to reach 23 different organizations, including those that serve the elderly and provide meals or groceries to low-income families. Thousands of islanders, young and old, receive weekly shares of fresh, local produce.
Betty Burton who chairs the Vineyard Committee on Hunger and operates Serving Hands Food Distribution, and says that, “Island Grown Gleaning has been an important contributor to our program. This summer we were able to give out fresh produce every Friday thanks to the volunteer gleaners and local farms, most importantly, Morning Glory Farm. It is so generous of the Athearn family to share their bounty with those in need.”