The work is both enjoyable and meaningful. For Guild School student Korey Myers, that’s a “fruitful” combination.

Korey is one of several students to work this summer at
Gaining Ground, a nearby non-profit organic farm that partners with The Guild’s Vocational Services program. With the help of more than 2,500 volunteers, Gaining Ground grows and donates about 100,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to area meal programs and food pantries each season.

“I really like the work and I feel good about myself,” Korey explains. “I enjoy helping people out. It makes me feel good inside.”

The Guild students engage in a number of activities when working on the 20-acre farm. On one recent morning, the students washed and boxed summer squash and zucchini for distribution; harvested onions from the field; and helped tidy the barn.

“It’s fun to work there and be outside,” Guild student Ben O’Malley says. “The people at the farm are very helpful.”

The folks at Gaining Ground look forward to the days when The Guild students work. “We’re excited when we look at the calendar and see that The Guild students are coming that day,” reports Hannah Lawson, Gaining Ground’s volunteer coordinator. “They are wonderful workers and very respectful of the farm. They listen really well and go about their tasks very efficiently.”

Working at Gaining Ground gives the students an appreciation of where food comes from and an awareness that not everyone in Massachusetts always has enough to eat. Statistics show that one in nine people in Eastern Mass. is at risk of going hungry.

“The students really enjoy the work and knowing that what they are doing helps other people,” says Henry Nsubuga, a Vocational Services job coach at The Guild.

In addition to Gaining Ground, The Guild partners with
Revival Café + Kitchen in Cambridge and Waverley Oaks Athletic Club in Waltham to provide students with community-based work experience. Students also receive vocational lessons at The Guild’s Coffee Shop, our on-site community garden and in office settings throughout The Guild’s headquarters.