Community Note: Gleaners thank-you luncheon

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Island Grown Initiative (IGI) hosted a luncheon at Chilmark Community Center on Sunday, Nov. 20, to celebrate this year’s gleaning accomplishments and welcome new volunteers. According to a press release, IGI partners with programs providing meals and groceries to those in need, and organizations serving elderly, disabled, low-income, and marginalized community members. In the schools, IGI brings fresh produce to the cafeterias and facilitates educational gleaning field trips. Every week a group of volunteers meets at a participating farm and helps to carefully pick and pack up that week’s crop.

Dan and Simon Athearn of Morning Glory Farm attended with their families, and were acknowledged for their consistent contributions to Island Grown Gleaning since 2009, when they became IGI’s first gleaning partner. This year marked a milestone for them — 100,000 pounds of produce donated to the community via the gleaners. Jamie O’Gorman announced this season’s gleaners had harvested more than 21,000 pounds of produce for the community.

Volunteer awards were given to Jessica Roddy, Carol Collins, Jeanne Hupprich, Mary Wolverton, Jackie Hokanson, Nicola Blake, and Margaret Knight. Guests enjoyed authentic Indian food catered by Uma Datta and sourced from local farms. Melanie Sroka Chaunce provided music. If you’d like to participate in this program that harvests unsalable produce, contact jamie@igimv.org.