Thanksgiving in the Hardwick area is a little sweeter, thanks to a community collaboration called Pies for the People. It's an annual tradition that puts dozens of pies on plates in one corner of the Northeast Kingdom.
At the Harwdwick Area Food Pantry, they’re giving out Thanksgiving dinner boxes with all the fixings, from a frozen turkey to a freshly baked pie. There are two pie choices: apple or pumpkin. The apple pies are baked by a group of local volunteers. The pumpkin pies come from Pies for the People.
Pies for the People starts at High Mowing Organic Seeds, in Wolcott, where they grow pumpkins and other winter squash for the seeds. Pete’s Greens, in Craftsbury, processes the leftover squash into a puree. Then up the road, at Sterling College, volunteers roll out the crusts. Some pies are baked at the college and others are brought to ovens at the Vermont Food Venture Center, in Hardwick.
The Vermont Food Venture center is also where The Center for an Agricultural Economy is based. Bethany Dunbar is community programs manager for the center, and she coordinates Pies for the People.
“This year we made 120 pies, and they have gone out to folks who are clients of the Hardwick Area Food Pantry and to some area schools, nursing homes, and two local, free community dinners – one in Hardwick, one in Craftsbury." says Dunbar. "So they really do truly go out to the people, and it's a lot of fun. And the pie is delicious.”
Before they’re handed out, each pie is packaged in a pizza box – from Positive Pie, of course.