Island Grown Gleaning: Gathering Food for our Community

Gleaning is the act of gathering food that would otherwise not be sold. Farms donate crops because they don’t meet store quality standards, they grow more than they can sell, or they are not able to harvest produce in time. In those cases, Island Grown Gleaning is able to quickly harvest large areas of ripe produce. Our team of dedicated volunteers spends extra time removing old leaves, checking for spots, and thoughtfully distributing the food we glean. IGI also receives fish from the MV Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby and venison from the Venison Donation Program, a collaboration between IGI and the MV Agricultural Society.

IGI shares gleaned food with schools, senior centers, the Island Food Pantry, Serving Hands, MV Food Baskets, and other local organizations.

Gleaning in 2020

Thanks to generous farmers and volunteers throughout our food system, we gleaned 43,534 lbs of beautiful and nourishing local food in 2020! Approximately 25,000 lbs of that was grown on Island Grown Initiative’s farm.

Join us!

REGISTER as a new volunteer. If you'd like to be notified when gleans are scheduled, email and ask to be added to our Gleaning-specific email list.

Island Grown Gleaning is shaped by our volunteer gleaners. Many volunteers have been gleaning since the program began over 10 years ago. They return year after year to share with our community and spend time outside with others who are doing the same.

We provide tools, instruction, and an experienced Field Captain. Most gleans last about an hour and a half and we have several gleans each week during summer and fall harvest seasons. Volunteers are welcome to keep a share of the harvest for themselves. New volunteers are always welcome. Glean once a year, or every week!


Martha's Vineyard Times
Cape & Islands NPR
Oxfam America
Huffington Post


Contact: Astrid Tilton, Program Leader