National Apple Month and the Mass Grown Initiative (MGI)

Did you know that October is National Apple Month?

Did you also know that The Greater Boston Food Bank has relationships with local Massachusetts farmers to acquire produce, such as apples, each year?   One of these apple farms is Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA. Carlson Orchards is part of the Mass Grown Initiative (MGI), which is funded through the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) – a protected line item in the budget that provides money to the four food banks in the state to buy food.

MGI funding supports the relationship between Massachusetts famers and The Greater Boston Food Bank, and enables GBFB to purchase produce from the participating farms each year.

In the spirit of celebrating National Apple Month, GBFB wants to recognize Carlson Orchards as one of our dedicated partners. Carlson orchards was founded in 1936 by Walter and Eleanor Carlson, and today their three proud sons, Bruce, Frank and Robert Carlson are dedicated to maintaining their family’s reputation and great tradition of high quality apples and apple products that was born over 75 years ago.

GBFB signed a contract with Carlson Orchards last year and have already received 252 cases of apples and 384 cases of apple cider. We look forward to growing our relationship with Carlson in the years to come and invite our friends to visit them! Perhaps you can make the Apple Crisp recipe below from our GBFB Nutrition team, which is also found on Click ‘N Cook.   Apple Crisp 6 servings; 1/2 cup   Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat margarine
  • 2 pounds baking apples, peeled and sliced.


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and place cut apples into the bottom.
  3. Mix sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle entire mixture over the apples.
  4. Drop dots of margarine over the oatmeal mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

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