BAR HARBOR—Share the Harvest, College of the Atlantic’s farm-based and student-coordinated food access program, is taking applications for the 2017 season.
Applications for the program, which serves all of Mount Desert Island, are available at the Bar Harbor Food Pantry starting Tuesday, April 18, and will be available every Tuesday and Thursday either until the end of May or until the program is full. Additional applications will be available in apartment complexes around the island, including Birchwood, Ridge, Norwood Cove, and Maple Lane apartments.
“We aim to make fresh, local, and healthy produce available to all of the Mount Desert Island Community,” Jenna Farineau ‘18, one of the program’s student coordinators, said. “We are a collaboration between COA students and farmers at the college’s Beech Hill Farm. We work as a liaison between the MDI community and the local food system, ensuring access to the space, knowledge, and resources necessary to sustain an equitable food system.”
Share the Harvest works in conjunction with existing food-access programs and organizations throughout MDI, such as food pantries and gleaning initiatives, to complement their efforts and meet overlooked needs. In collaboration with these programs and organizations, Share the Harvest distributes farmstand vouchers and subsidized farm shares to community members in need.
Initial fundraising for Share the Harvest began in the summer of 2007. The next year, a $1000 start-up grant from Healthy Acadia, along with donations from Beech Hill Farm’s farmstand customers, facilitated the program’s launch as a student project. In the summer of 2008, Share the Harvest began operation with the distribution of $50 farmstand vouchers to 20 different families on Mount Desert Island.
The generosity of the MDI community remains essential to the group’s success, Zabala said.
“Last year, Share the Harvest was able to provide fresh, local produce to almost 70 individuals and families on MDI,” said Rayna Joyce ‘20. “We were only able to do so well through fundraisers and donations.”