On July 22, Brianna Barker joined other Governor’s Institute of Vermont students at the Vermont Foodbank, the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Pete’s Greens to glean and process food for distribution to Vermonters in need.

We invited Brianna to share her Governor’s Institute experience with us:

I am a high school student who volunteered with GIV to help the Foodbank this summer. The experience was amazing.

We went through all of the steps of processing. We gleaned at a local greenhouse. Together, we gathered over 2500 lbs of beats in under 45 minutes. We were a very determined group of teenagers. Our goal was to clear the greenhouse of beats. Our mission was accomplished.

Earlier, we had cleaned and cut potatoes and carrots. My main station was in the potatoes. There were different things to do in the potato room and I ended up staying at the table that takes all of the bruises off. I was on a roll. Minutes turned into hours without any notice.

I think the feeling that we all wanted to get as much done before we had to stop really got us so determined. We all wanted to see how much we could do for people. The people at the Foodbank were amazed at how much we had done in a little bit of time.


We had done so much but in reality, we hadn’t done much at all. Sure, we processed a lot of food but there are a lot of people who need food. I think that was the biggest thing I learned. A lot of people are in need of food.

The feeling of accomplishment I had when the day was over was amazing. I think we all learned many things about the processing portion of how food gets to people’s plates and how many people it takes. Thank you, Vermont Foodbank, for teaching me and my friends this lesson and for allowing us to help as much as we could in the time we had.

Thank you, Brianna, for sharing your experience. And thank you to The Governor’s Institute of Vermont for making this experience possible!