Published in The Republican Journal
Feb 12, 2014
Local Food Bank Farm Project Joins Forces with Maine Farmland Trust
The Unity-based Veggies For All food bank farm project is now part of Maine Farmland Trust’s Farm Viability Program. Veggies For All is a community agriculture project that works to relieve hunger by growing vegetables for those in need, while collaborating with partners to distribute and increase access to quality and nutritious food.
The project was founded in 2007 by Tim Libby and other young farmers who recognized the great potential for local agriculture to relieve hunger in western Waldo county. Tim Libby, a former MOFGA journey-person and skilled vegetable grower, continues to be the project farm manager. Sara Trunzo joined the project in 2009 as the project’s administrative manager, overseeing development, partnership management, and community integration.
After several successful years under the Unity Barn Raisers, the project has matriculated to seek work with a statewide food and agriculture focused organization, while maintaining its connection to education and the Unity area through partnerships with Volunteer Regional Food Pantry and Unity College.
“Becoming part of a state-wide, agricultural-focused organization like Maine Farmland Trust is a natural next step in our growth and will allow Veggies For All to make a greater impact,” said Trunzo. “We were so blessed to be ‘incubated’ by an organization like Unity Barn Raisers. UBR recognized our value and encouraged our growth from the start.”
Veggies For All has produced nearly 75,000 pounds of vegetables for hunger relief since 2010 and serves approximately 1,500 clients (800 local, and 700 regional) through the distribution capabilities of the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry and other partners.
The project manages approximately 3 acres of land with sustainable production methods, both on Unity College’s campus and through donated leases with community members. About 2 acres are in vegetables each season. Production is focused on traditional, hardy fall crops, which are easily used and stored, such as potatoes, onions, cabbages, carrots, and winter squash.