Harvest Haul’s Lori Brantner Awarded the 2024 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals and groups who make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. An individual or group from the public, nonprofit, and private sector may be nominated for this recognition award by a community member to their county-designated coordinator. 

Lori Brantner’s passion to provide nutritional fresh produce to the underserved led her to create Harvest Haul in 2020. Harvest Haul is a program of committed volunteers who come to the Farmers Market every Saturday, cultivate relationships with farmers, and coordinate the pickup, delivery, and distribution of freshly harvested unsold fruits and vegetables.   

Determined to fill the food insecurity gap with nutritional security, Lori supports local family farms, eliminates food waste, and ensures that the food is delivered where it is needed most.   

Fellow volunteer Bob Caruso says of his friend, “Lori is highly regarded by all who help her as volunteers or partner with her as colleagues. She is the consummate servant leader, selflessly striving to serve others and deflecting praise to those with whom she works. She is intelligent and enthusiastic about her activities and driven by the super-ordinate goal of nutritional security for those in need.” 

Under Lori’s leadership, the measurables this year have been truly impressive: 

  • 65 volunteers  
  • 600 volunteer hours 
  • 15,000 pounds of vegetables  
  • 410 pounds of farm fresh vegetables were donated from HH and Nourish Up’s first-ever Thanksgiving Vegetable Drive at CLT Regional Farmers Market 
  • More than 100 Nourish Up families (200-300 individuals) per month now have access to local vegetables gathered by HH since the partnership started 

Jan Johnson, President of the Uptown Farmers Market, says, “Lori is so deserving of being recognized for her commitment, and I hope her tireless efforts will shine a light on the need to make healthy, nutritional food accessible for all.”