Originally from Maryland, Jack earned an MS in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. Prior to that, Jack taught physical education in Virginia, and saw firsthand how important it is for young people to learn how to live an active life, and how good nutrition and access to healthy food can dramatically affect kids' resiliency.
Jack has worked with Mill City Grows, Three Sisters Garden Project, CitySprouts and Waltham Fields Community Farm. He has a deep love and appreciation for the natural world, and believes everyone should get to enjoy its bountiful fruit.
Jack joined the Gleaners in 2016 and was astonished at the amount of good, nutritious food going to waste on local farms. He's committed to reducing food waste and increasing access to fresh local food for more vulnerable populations. Thanks to his enthusiasm, Jack inspires folks to volunteer with us and spearheads our corporate and community group service days. If you're looking for a speaker or to plan a group volunteer trip, Jack's the guy to call.
What is gleaning?
The Gleaners’ define it as the act of collecting surplus crops from farmers' fields. In ancient times, landowners invited peasants onto their fields after the main harvest to take what was left over. Simply put, gleaning was a method of improving food security for the poor.
...And there’s a big need for this, even today! Farming is unpredictable, and farmers need to plant extra to ensure they will have enough produce to sell throughout the year. With an unpredictable market, this can result in surplus food: in fact, up to 20% of the food grown on farms is never harvested. This food could be donated, but many farmers simply cannot afford the labor to harvest and distribute it.
In come the Boston Area Gleaners, whom since 2004 have organized volunteers to harvest surplus crops from local farms and distribute these high-quality, nutritious fruits and vegetables to food banks, pantries, and meal programs.
By the numbers
- In 2017, they gleaned over 635,000 pounds of 60 crop types from 50 farms in eastern Massachusetts
- Since their start in 2004, they have gleaned over 1.8 million pounds of fresh, local produce for the benefit of people in need.
- By 2019, they hope to capture 1 million pounds of crops every single year.
Slow Food Boston is excited to include the Gleaners in this series as they offer a unique, agricultural-based perspective in the Boston Area food rescue scene. Click HERE to read the interview and learn more about how the Gleaners are providing a necessary service in our local community.
Join us at the Boston Public Market on April 28th to celebrate World Disco Soup Day, an anti-food waste campaign, and to meet Jack and other key members in local food rescue!