Gemma’s Angels, Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization recognized by the IRS under its tax exempt 501(c)3 regulations. Since 2006, Gemma's Angels has distributed tens of thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to a growing list of homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties in Pennsylvania. We supplement--but do not replace--the work of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank which provides food to over 900 partner agencies in Central PA running from the northern to the southern border of the state.
Growth of Our Distribution Network
- Received a prestigious Nonprofit Innovative Award nomination from the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal, April, 2018
- Our founder, Michael Macchioni, was awarded the National Community Service Award by the KSKJ Life Insurance Company of Minneapolis, MN, April, 2018
- Conducted our first All-Kids Farmer's Market program with the Price Building students of the Lower Dauphin School District. Students were afforded the opportunity to come aboard the bus and make their own choice of a fresh fruit or vegetable to take home to their families. The goal is to give kids a sense of responsibility with not only being able to make their own choices but to generate enthusiasm about eating fresh fruits and vegetables. The program has been highly successful.
- Partnered with Tri-Community Community Action in the growth of the HomeGrown Harrisburg project which promotes residents to grow their own vegetables in gardens or buckets. We provided donated seeds and buckets and use of our vehicle to transport supplies.
- Started our own vegetable garden plot at the Hershey Community Garden
- Attained a client drop-off list of over 40 sites including shelters, food pantries, free little pantries, and soup kitchens that receive our fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Won a $20,000 Gaming Grant in from Dauphin County to start a Mobile Farm Market to transport our produce to our client sites
- Developed relationships with several local farmers and wholesalers to source our produce.
- Established the Donate-a-Tomato program allowing for home gardeners to easily donate their harvest.
- Conducted Christmas parties at four area shelters serving nearly 1,000 homeless boys and girls for the past 22 years.
- Started an awards program called the Spirit of Gemma Awards recognizing groups, businesses and individuals who provide services caring for the poor, the working poor and the homeless.
- Established the Farmer Andy & Andrea Project and Andy's & Andrea's Farm in concert with the Foundation for Better Health, which teaches school-age children about sustainability, the importance of farming and the importance of eating five fresh fruits and vegetables a day. PS, not to worry, look for Farmer Andrea soon!
Future Program Wish List
- Assisting inner city-based residents to build their own gardens, both individually and as groups.
- An interactive, traveling children's show featuring veggie and fruit characters promoting nutrition education designed for pre-school and elementary age children and summer camps.