On Sunday, the UPA Grant Committee met to review our finalists and determine the recipient that we felt would be represent an opportunity our grant funds to have a direct and tangible impact in our community. We are thrilled to announce that Boston Area Gleaners was voted (unanimously!) as the winning proposal and thereby the recipient of our very first Community Transformation Grant.
Boston Area Gleaners is dedicated to rescuing surplus farm crops for people in need. They distribute high quality, local produce to food pantries and meal programs by working closely with local farmers, providing volunteer labor to harvest what would otherwise be plowed under. Their activities, in collaboration with food producers and hunger relief agencies in the area, contribute to efforts to build a sustainable and equitable local food system.
Boston Area Gleaners was chosen based on many factors, including:
- The overall mission of the agency
- The leadership
- The strategic planning and organization of the agency
- The opportunity for our congregation to partner in meaningful and tangible ways
- The ability to make a difference in our community
A summary of their proposal:
The Boston Area Gleaners will hire a Volunteer Outreach Coordinator in 2017 as the primary strategy for increasing volunteer engagement in the Gleaning Program, which relies completely on volunteer labor to fulfill its mission: to glean surplus produce for our neighbors in need. As part of a larger expansion goal, this position would facilitate volunteer outreach to new communities, increase knowledge and understanding of the local food system, and create opportunities for participation for more community members. This position would also facilitate the increasing number of volunteer requests we receive from groups, such as communities of faith, business teams, and schools.
We will be asking for the Boston Area Gleaners to have a representative speak during an upcoming service before the end of the year so the congregation can hear directly from them about their wonderful mission.
If you are interested in learning more about their agency, you can go to BostonAreaGleaners.Org. A copy of their full proposal is also available by contacting Kristin McGovern firstname.lastname@example.org.
The members of the Grant Committee are grateful for the congregation’s interest and enthusiasm and we are excited to develop this new partnership with Boston Area Gleaners.
– The UPA Grant Committee (Kristin McGovern, Samantha Cowan, Doug Wood Boyle, Doris Ann Sweet, Martha Sweet, Natascha George, Denise Chicoine, Rachelle Ross, Carol Walsh, and Doug Robinson Johnson)