The Fall harvest means farmers moving food from the field to the market where families can purchase it and take it home to their tables. For many farmers, not only do they provide food to their communities, they allow gleaning of their fields for food banks.
Fresh produce is important to food banks. Alongside the boxed and canned foods donated by corporations, pantries need fresh produce to ensure those served by the pantries have access to healthy foods.
When a farmer comes to a nonprofit offering produce, the nonprofit rounds up volunteers to glean. If the farmer has offered a field, crop remnants, an orchard, or arbor rows, the produce needs to be cleared from that area before the produce spoils.
With few volunteers, gleaning an area may take many hours or days.
With more volunteers, well, many hands make light work. The area can be cleared and produce loaded on the truck in much less time. More people volunteering can make the difference between a long day for a few, or an easier, more fun day for a group.
To volunteer with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, visit foodshuttle.org/how-to-help/volunteer-opportunities to read their volunteer FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and sign up.
In addition to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle gleaning, the Society of St. Andrew gleans across North Carolina. More information and NC contacts may be found at endhunger.org/north-carolina. Volunteer information may also be reached from links on that page.
Raleigh-based Grow And Share helps gardeners expand their gardens to provide produce for families in need. They do this by distributing free garden plants in the Spring, so gardeners and those who’d like to become gardeners may prepare a garden without spending money to purchase plants. Taking free plants only requires signing of a “Pledge To Share” their garden harvest. See their Facebook page here.