I received a gleaning alert from my friend Susan describing the following:
"After talking with you around 6 pm, I crossed over to the Occupy Boston site and found the volunteer (Jean) in the food tent that had earlier in the day explained to me about the abundance/surplus of produce, which led me to call you for advice. Jean was eager to see if Boston Mission could take more fresh produce and fruit. Together we walked over to the Kingston St. location and talked with the reception person, who said okay.We went back to the encampment and filled up 5 cartons (carrots, peppers, potatoes,squash, fruit), and hauled them back to Kingston Street using my luggage cart and a shopping cart. The cook at the Mission accepted it all, but said that was his limit due to lack of space in the refrigerators. When I said why not leave the squash and fruit out, he said they attract flies. Jean now has their telephone number for the person at the Mission that can check with the kitchen. She will probably call them again in a few days. In the next day or so a group from the Arlington St. Church will use some of the remaining vegetables to cook up a dish in their church kitchen and bring it back to the Occupation."
I then tried calling nearby shelters, but they were not game. So I figured to go myself. Took 3 boxes of apples and a box of winter squash which donated to St. Francis House. Welcome! Then I headed to the encampment. Left my Van standing and sought out the kitchen tent. They did have excess foods, particularly such as winter squash, and they had no stoves or cooking equipment. But the coordinators were not there. They gave me a bag of potatoes and summer squash anyway. I got myself a ticket when I got back to my Van, and some impatient cops. Drove off and found the Boston Mission House, only 2 or 3 blocks away. Gave the produce to them (St. Francis House being several more blocks away down one way streets the wrong way). Suggested strongly to them that they investigate, and that the kitchen tent could give them some good produce.
-- Oakes Plimpton
Boston Area Gleaners
91 Martin Street
Acton, MA 01720