Warm weather, longer days and abundant sunshine have provided the right formula for Vermont’s farms, early in the growing season. This past week, the Vermont Foodbank and volunteers from the Burlington area set to work gleaning salad and braising greens from Digger’s Mirth Farm at the Intervale.

“The glean at Digger’s Mirth allowed us to deliver more than 100 pounds of delicious greens to area food shelves and meal sites,” said Andrea Solazzo, Gleaning UVMVermont Foodbank’s gleaning and community outreach coordinator.

The Vermont Foodbank’s Gleaning Program is the largest in the state, working with as many as 80 farms and 800 volunteers. “We are always looking for volunteers to support our gleaning work,” said Hanna Snyder, Vermont Foodbank volunteer coordinator. “Gleaning is a great activity for children, civic groups, or a corporate office team. It’s a great way to learn about Vermont’s agricultural economy, while giving back to the community.”

Last year, the Foodbank provided 443,000 pounds of fresh Vermont produce to food shelves and meal sites around the state. Through cooking demos and taste tests, the Vermont Foodbank is also providing introduction to new produce and simple recipes that visitors can try at home.

“We know that the visitors we see at food shelves and meal sites want to eat healthy, delicious food,” said Michelle Wallace, Vermont Foodbank director of community health and fresh food initiatives. “Our Gleaning Program provides the necessary nutrition that people need and want but likely can’t afford on fixed or limited incomes.”

Those interested in volunteering for the program are encouraged to learn more and sign up. Visit https://www.vtfoodbank.org/gather-food/gleaning to learn more.