Share the Harvest

EcoTopic / Project Category
Consumption & Waste, Education & Awareness, Food
Project Goal Summary
Share the Harvest was created in 2015 to help deliver excess produce from the local farmers market to the community soup kitchen, food pantry, and homeless shelter. 
Through Share the Harvest, the Gillette Saturday Farmers market has been able to increase access to nutritious and locally sourced food, reduce food waste at market, and educate market customers about food insecurity in our local community. 
 
Project Location
Gillette, WY 82718
United States
Project Goals and News
Share the Harvest was created in 2015 with a simple goal in mind - to reduce food waste at the Gillette Saturday Farmers Market. However, over the years the Farmers Market has grown Share the Harvest into a multifaceted program that seeks to address food insecurity in our community by not only increasing access to nutritious and local food, but also empowering individuals and families to regain control of their food destinies.

In addition to delivering excess food generously donated from Farmers Market vendors to the Council of Community Services (a local nonprofit that runs the community soup kitchen, food pantry, and homeless shelter), Share the Harvest also includes:
- Annual Cookware Drive - provide underserved community members with the tools they need to process raw ingredients and prepare meals from scratch
- Budget-friendly Cooking Demonstrations lead by our local Cent$ible Nutrition educator - free cooking demos feature produce readily available at the Farmers Market. Participants are allowed to try the dishes and receive recipe cards that can use at home
- Edible Garden Planting Day - market volunteers help Council of Community Services' patrons plant their edible gardens and share information on how to care for the garden all summer long
- Little Free Pantries - Coming summer 2018! Farmers Market, Council of Community Services, and Cent$ible Nutrition volunteers, and Farmers Market vendors will install two Free Little Pantries in community parks. Pantries will be stocked with nutritious and shelf-stable food items that community members can access free from judgement and program eligibility guidelines

Share the Harvest has met with overwhelming support from our local community. In 2017, thirteen vendors donated $1,182 worth of fresh produce and locally made food items to the Council of Community Services, and our local community donated over twelve totes of cookware that were given to local families in need. The Farmers Market also attempts (sometimes we forget) to collect attendance numbers for cooking demonstrations, garden planting days, and we are currently developing metrics to track Free Little Pantry usage. 

Share the Harvest has faced its fair share of challenges as well. The program is completely dependent upon volunteers and receives no funding, which presents major obstacles in terms of program sustainability. However, we try to keep the community aware of our progress and engaged with the program through Facebook announcements on the Gillette Saturday Farmers Market page, press releases, and meetings with elected officials. 

The Gillette Saturday Farmers Market's Share the Harvest program would not be possible without the support of the Council of Community Services, Cent$ible Nutrition, and Farmers Market vendors and volunteers. Share the Harvest also owes its existence to community members that support the program by shopping at the Farmers Market, responding to our calls for donations, and attending our events. 


 
Tag Your Project
food sovereignty, food access, food waste, farmers markets, community gardens, edible gardens

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Form Details

Megan Taylor
Megan Taylor
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Date Added: Jan 17, 2018
Date Last Modified: Jan 24, 2018

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