Genna Williams joined the Foodbank staff earlier this summer. She works out of our Brattleboro facility as the Gleaning and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Southern Region. Despite being very busy coordinating summer gleaning volunteers, we were able to ask her a few questions to get to know her better.
June 5, 2015
Please tell us more about your position at the Foodbank.
My job really changes with the seasons. During the summer I’m primarily focused on gleaning from local farms. Gleaning is the act of harvesting and gathering surplus or “seconds” from farms.
My role is to coordinate with the farmers and schedule volunteer-based gleans. The produce is brought back to our Brattleboro distribution site and sent throughout Southern Vermont to people in need. During the winter I’ll be making my way around southern Vermont visiting all of our network partners to help sites focus and highlight their fresh food options. Throughout the year I’ll be traveling to our VT Fresh sites to host cooking demos teaching our patrons easy recipes that incorporate fresh local food.
Where do you live, where are you from?
I’m from Shaftsbury, Vermont and am currently living in Putney.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself, personally and/or professionally?
I love to travel, especially around the United States. I’ve driven cross-country seven times hitting all of the lower 48 with the exception of Nebraska. I spend most of my time outside running or hiking with my dog Ruby. We’re attempting to section hike the Long Trail this summer but with my new job it may take us two summers to make it all the way up north.
I first became passionate about fresh food access when I was working as an AmeriCorps VISTA serving as a Farm-to-School Coordinator in rural Montana. Teaching students how to grow their own food and make healthy choices in the lunch line was such an amazing experience. Since then I’ve managed a few diversified family farms and a small Farm-to-Restaurant program. My dream is to one day own a goat dairy to locally sell raw hormone free milk.
What do you like about working at the Vermont Foodbank?
My favorite part of working at the Vermont Foodbank is gleaning. It’s so much fun to be on a beautiful farm getting to know all the amazing volunteers. And it allows me to harvest which we can all agree is the best part of farming.
Thank you for sharing your story, Genna! We’re glad to have you on the team and bringing in that Vermont-grown produce!