Gleaning is a millennia-old tradition of harvesting produce from a farmer’s fields that otherwise would not be harvested. Our Gleaning Program is in partnership with Prairie Wind Family Farm on the Prairie Crossing Farm, the Foundation’s 100-acre certified organic farm nestled in the Prairie Crossing conservation community in Grayslake.
The Liberty Prairie Foundation believes that access to fresh, healthy food should be a right, not a privilege. Each season we fulfill that belief through our Gleaning Program as we get vegetables from our farm to those in our county who need nourishment. Sundays during the summer and fall, volunteers come to the farm to harvest, wash, and pack the vegetables. Our staff then delivers the produce to our community partners.
The majority of our produce is delivered regularly throughout the season (early June-late October) to Community Christian Church of Lake County and Roberti Community House in Waukegan and Midwest Veteran’s Closet in North Chicago. We typically glean approximately 5,000 pounds of vegetables per season, although it can fluctuate based on weather and crop availability.
What will this project accomplish?
Your donation will help us to plant and manage the Gleaning Garden in partnership with Prairie Wind Family Farm. Vegetables in this garden will be grown specifically for the Gleaning Program and will be provided to our community partners. We will plant spring cops (specific crops are to be determined) in April or May of 2019 that would be ready for harvest in the late spring and early summer when crops available for gleaning are typically less plentiful. This would mean that we would be able to provide a steadier supply of vegetables to our partners throughout the growing season.
This garden will leverage Prairie Wind’s infrastructure and expertise and will help to provide more fresh food for the program. Similar to our typical Gleaning Program, volunteers would then help us to harvest, wash, and pack the vegetables for our community partners.
Money raised will go toward purchasing the supplies for the garden as well as staff time to plan, manage, and maintain it. Your support will also help us to offset our transportation costs for the 2019 season. We deliver gleaned produce to at least three locations each week during the season, which means that our transportation costs add up quickly.
The $3,000 we are seeking through this fundraiser will help us to dedicate even more time to this truly important program that is helping to nourish hungry people in Lake County. A generous anonymous donor has offered to provide matching funds for our project up to 20% of the total amount we’re raising—that’s $600 in matching funds! Will you help us reach our goal?
Fresh, healthy food can have a transformative power on people and communities as neighbors, friends, and families gather to share meals. Please help us to bring healthy food to people who need it and consider donating today!
As proof of completion, photographs and a final report will be provided to donors 1 year after the project was funded, sometime around December 22, 2019.