Meredith Days is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, where she received her BA in Public Policy and minored in Community Action and Social Change. She was born and raised in Massachusetts, and her childhood experiences volunteering at her town’s food pantry shaped her understanding of injustice but also showed her the critical importance of community support. She brought her interest in community engagement and social justice with her to Ann Arbor, where she organized volunteer trips across southeast Michigan, led social policy advocacy efforts at the local and state level, and focused on studying the systemic roots of poverty and inequality through her courses. Meredith is thrilled to have returned to the Boston area to serve as the Harvest VISTA – Communications and Outreach Assistant with Boston Area Gleaners.
Boston Area Gleaners is a food recovery organization located in the greater Boston area of Massachusetts. BAG partners with farmers across the state and mobilizes teams of volunteers to harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds of surplus crops each year, which are distributed to over 2,000 hunger relief agencies in New England. Over the past two years, BAG’s work has transitioned in response to the COVID-19 crisis to meet the soaring increase in food insecurity in Massachusetts, and is continuing to expand to meet the needs of the communities served.
As a Harvest VISTA, Meredith is focusing on assisting BAG with professional communications and volunteer engagement, as well as outreach and development to continue to advance the organization overall. A large part of her work involves creating a communications plan for BAG’s website, email and social media to continue to improve representation of the organization externally. She is also working on volunteer outreach and stakeholder engagement strategies to promote equity and continue building partnerships within the New England food system. Additionally, she is supporting outreach and communications for the final push of the Grow the Gleaners fundraising campaign, to help BAG purchase a new property and continue to grow the reach and impact of the organization!