– Contact the local paper/news station to do an article about the gleaning program.
– Partner with other non-profits in your community on a project, e.g. Community Food Forums in the community room of a low-income housing complex.
– Join coalitions and groups in town that work with similar populations and issues to educate members about your program.
– Plan informative events in the off-season, such as film screenings, community discussions potlucks.
– Look into finding business sponsorship for large events.
– Pass out packets of seeds with contact information to people.
– Set-up meetings with agricultural businesses and distribute brochures to farmers.
– Post fliers and brochures downtown, as well as nurseries and home improvement stores.
– Ask businesses to put your logo on their website to promote community programs.
– Introduce yourself and your program to food banks/agencies that receive gleaned produce.
– Partner agencies are a great place to post volunteer opportunities or information about the program
Walla Walla is a very tight-knit community where word of mouth and general visibility are the best as marketing tools. WWCH was most successful at conducting outreach at the farmers’ market. Make it a priority to have a booth at the market every weekend, it’s amazing how many people walk by and stop to ask about the program!
Talking with local media generates a wealth of visibility for your program. In a small town like Walla Walla, a large percentage of folks read the local newspaper and monthly magazine to keep up with events in the community. In August 2013, Walla Walla Lifestyles Magazine wrote a piece highlighting gleaning. After the story was published, the Harvest VISTA received numerous emails, phone calls and inquiries about the program.
Be outgoing, engage folks about your program and how you can potentially collaborate or support one another. If your model and mission are good, the community will naturally gain interest. Word of mouth travels exponentially!