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Food Access

Feed your community and support local farmers this Thanksgiving. Donate to the Fresh Food Drive!

Nov. 2, 2021

This holiday season, are you looking for a great way to support folks in need in our community, while supporting your favorite local farmers? Donate to the Fresh Food Drive!

Since 2010, FRESHFARM has hosted Thanksgiving Fresh Food Drives at our markets to benefit our vulnerable neighbors and support local farmers. Throughout the month of November, FRESHFARM raises money from shoppers and community members for the Fresh Food Drive. We spend these donations directly with our network of farmers and growers to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and turkeys. Then, we donate these fresh, local foods to our gleaning partners at each market, who use the ingredients to prepare Thanksgiving baskets or meals for neighbors in need.

So what are gleaning partners? Gleaners are local organizations who come to market to gather food to provide for families and individuals in the community. FRESHFARM’s gleaning partners include food pantries, homeless services organizations, churches, and more. Throughout the season, gleaners come to the market to collect leftover produce donated by farmers. But during the Fresh Food Drive, FRESHFARM purchases additional food from farmers to meet the heightened need during the holidays.

This year’s Fresh Food Drive will benefit the following gleaners:

  • AFAC (gleaning at Arlington): Since 1988, AFAC, the Arlington Food Assistance Center, has been dedicated to the simple but critical mission of obtaining and distributing groceries, directly and free of charge, to people living in Arlington, Virginia, who cannot afford to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs.
  • DC Central Kitchen (gleaning at Dupont): DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. The organization provides hands-on culinary job training for individuals facing high barriers to employment while creating living-wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed.
  • First Church-Christ Holiness (gleaning at H Street NE and Monroe Street): First Church is a DC-based church community that has partnered with FRESHFARM since our very first Fresh Food Drive over a decade ago. Every year, they collect food from markets to provide Thanksgiving Day gift baskets with turkeys and vegetables to families in need.
  • Following Francis (gleaning at CityCenter): Founded in 2011, Following Francis began as a free educational field trip program for school-aged children living in areas impacted by unemployment, poverty, deportation, drugs, and crime. They create inspirational programs and activities for children facing the challenges of ethnic and social blending and a below-average standard of living.
  • Food For Others (gleaning at Oakton): Since 1995, Food for Others has been helping families in the capital area who are struggling to make ends meet. Food for Others is an important part of Northern Virginia’s safety net for those needing food when an emergency strikes and for the growing number of working poor who need to supplement their inadequate food supplies.
  • Food Rescue US – DC (gleaning at Columbia Heights, Dupont, Mosaic, Mount Vernon Triangle, Reston, and Springfield): Food Rescue US is a national gleaning organization, committed to reducing food waste and food insecurity in America. Using their web-based app, they engage volunteers to transfer excess fresh food from grocers, restaurants, and other sources, to social service agencies that feed people who are food insecure. Check out this great video highlighting the gleaning efforts of the DC chapter of Food Rescue US at the Dupont market, to benefit organizations like DC Central Kitchen and other local nonprofits.
  • Shepherd’s Table (gleaning at Downtown Silver Spring): Shepherd’s Table works to improve quality of life, create a pathway towards self-sufficiency, and inspire hope for the most vulnerable experiencing food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty. Based in Silver Spring, they welcome all to their community table for meals and access to social services, provided with compassion and respect.
  • Thrive DC (gleaning at Penn Quarter): Thrive DC works to prevent and end homelessness in Washington, DC by providing vulnerable people with a wide range of services to help stabilize their lives. Founded in 1979, they are a safety net for people experiencing homelessness, unemployment, housing instability, and food insecurity. With Thrive DC’s help, their clients take the first steps toward independence and self-sufficiency.

Make a donation to the Fresh Food Drive today to help our partners feed our hungry neighbors, and help small local farmers earn additional revenue as they head into the winter season. Learn more.

donate to the fresh food drive

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