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Abstract or Description

Today farms typically grow more produce than they can sell in a season. This excess produce often goes to waste. However organizations like Boston Area Gleaners have started gleaning initiatives in which they organize volunteers to glean the excess produce from farms near Boston and deliver it to local food pantries (bostonareagleaners.org).

Gleaning initiatives such as Boston Area Gleaners can fill an important niche which reduces food waste and delivers the excess to places in need. Both farmers and food banks/pantries in Massachusetts have expressed interest in gleaning initiatives throughout the state, leading the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to start a Massachusetts Gleaning Network.

The Massachusetts Gleaning Network aims to provide communities with resources and information to help them start their own gleaning initiatives. With rising gas prices, it is important for the gleaning initiative to be situated in a location that is both close to the farms and to food banks. The purpose of this project is to use GIS to find the most efficient connections between farms and food banks throughout Massachusetts based off travel cost.

About the Author

Katherine Murray ’12 is an Environmental Studies: Science major concentrating in Conservation Biology. She is a co-captain of the Colby Ultimate Frisbee team and intends on pursuing a degree in Agriculture.

Matt Silverman ‘12 is a Biology and Environmental Studies: Science double major from Montclair, New Jersey. He has been a trip leader and officer for the Colby Outing Club throughout college and has led many orientation (COOT) trips. Matt also rows for the Men’s Crew Team

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