Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gleaning: Our Numbers So Far

We are halfway through the gleaning season, busily racing to pick aging corn, softening melons, and mammoth zucchinis.  Already, I have tapped out my volunteer list serve with notifications of gleaning opportunities, and the few volunteers that do occasionally show up appear haggard and impatient for the season to be over. I can't blame them! 

As of today, we have gleaned 21,681 lbs of produce in Chautauqua County from farm fields and gardens this year, with 74% of the total from the month of August alone! Needless to say, August has been a busy month!

Gleaning beans at Anderson's Produce in Jamestown

So... What are we doing with all this food?

Here's the list:
-Freezing it
-Handing it out to soup kitchen visitors
-Distributing it in our food pantry
-Cooking it into the soup kitchen meals
-Dropping it off at other soup kitchens, food pantries, and human services agencies
-Giving aging produce to farmers for their livestock
-And handing it out to anyone who will take it!

And even though our numbers are great and we are constantly busy with gleaning, distributing, and preserving produce, we can always use new places to glean!  If you have a fruit tree, a garden, or a farm where some of the food goes to waste now and then, please let us know!  We are always happy for a call to glean, no matter how big or small the job.