September’s going quick.

It’s here.  It’s gone.

Just like that.  That’s Fall.

Around here, we call it “the quickening.”  Time starts moving faster and so much faster this time of year.  Our 2016 glean season will be over Soon.  And we can’t stop that.

Oh, we’ll be out in our local farm fields and orchards til those first hard frosts or snow (hopefully til Thanksgiving or so…).  But Thanksgiving is really just around the corner. And our gleans will start to slow down, especially here in Franklin County, as we get on into October.

Now is the best. time. ever. for gleaning.  We have the very end of Summer crops and the start of Fall… This past week we gleaned summer squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.  We also gleaned winter squash.

We are in the quickening.   And it is so short, and sweet.  Time now to enjoy and make the most of it.

Details of this week’s gleans at The Gleaning Project’s Facebook page and in a weekly email by signing up here: http://eepurl.com/Y4P3r

If these don’t fit your schedule, or you want more glean team time,
send us an email: thegleaningproject@gmail.com
or call/text Jay & Renee for Franklin County gleans: 717-492-6269
and call Bridget for Adams County gleans: 717-334-7634, ext. 162

Happy Fall.  Have an awesome day.  Thank you.

Save the veggies.

Pictured above, a local cucumber field getting mowed down last week in preparation for planting fall crops.  Every bit of yellow in that picture is – was – a perfectly good cucumber…  Now it’s all food loss.

That farmer is not happy about mowing down the delicious, nutritious fruit of so much labor.  If they had a better option they would take it…

Continue reading Save the veggies.

Gleaning Season is Definitely Here.

 

Some recent photos to share.  We’re always (still!) amazed at just how much food – really good food – is out here on local farms and orchards that would otherwise go to waste if The Gleaning Project wasn’t there to connect our local growers to those in our community in need who can put these fresh fruits and vegetables to the best use possible.

More updates on our Facebook

and pretty pictures on our Instagram.

Hope to see you in a farm field soon : )

2016 Tax Deduction Updates

Great News!

The PATH ACT (“Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes”) just passed in December, 2015 is federal legislation designed to make donating excess produce to a nonprofit like South Central Community Action Programs – under which The Gleaning Project is housed – easier and more financially rewarding for small and mid-sized growers.

Hoo. Ray : D

Tax law prior to 2016 was not particularly helpful to small and mid-sized farm businesses that wanted to donated produce…

Continue reading 2016 Tax Deduction Updates

Baking for a good cause

Meet Jen and Corey.

Last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) I met with the two of them (and their adorable dog Violet) outside of the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen. We unloaded NINE beautiful pumpkin desserts from their car, to the hands of grateful volunteers who were preparing lunch for a full dining hall. The soup kitchen would serve Jen and Corey’s pumpkin pies, breads, and cakes the following day on Thanksgiving-one of their busiest days of the year.

Rewind one month…

SNAP Challenge- Can you Take it?

Next week at this time, we’ll be asking community members in Pennsylvania and around the internet to join The Gleaning Project of South Central PA for a SNAP Challenge. This means that they will attempt to live on only $3.62/day (the average allotment of SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, in Adams County PA as of July 2015) for five days. They may budget, they may go big and eat like a snake, they may invite their household to participate and join forces, they may strategize, whatever they think will get them through til Friday.

The rules are simple:
1. Each person in the household is allotted the average Adams County Food Stamp (July 2015) amount of $3.62/day ($18.10 total) to spend on *all* food and beverages Monday-Friday.
2. Household sending can be combined.
3.All food purchased, including dining out, must be included.
4.During the challenge, eat only food you purchased on your budget, nothing from before.
5.If you accept free food at events, receptions, or parties, be mindful that this resource is not always available to those in need.
6.Share your experiences each day through social media and via our daily “check in” survey.
7. Invite others to join the challenge!

However, the concept is most certainly not simple. The idea of a SNAP Challenge comes especially fraught with complications:

To begin with, we’re only using the *average* SNAP allotment for a household of one, for simplicity’s sake. The actual amount given can vary greatly, given eligibility and income, and is highly dependent on the number of mouths counting on this aid. If you’re interested, you can find a “quick” guide to eligibility here, and more on the minimum and maximum benefit of each state, with cost of living adjustments here. Additionally, the actual SNAP money is available per month, rather than per week or day, which can increase difficulty toward the end of the month, and changes the way a family may budget for their meals.

Furthermore, when we designed this particular SNAP Challenge, we didn’t even begin to take into account healthy eating versus surviving. Hint: it’s super hard to eat healthy (if not impossible) on a “Food Stamp Budget.” If you’d like to know more, I would highly suggest checking out the film “Food Stamped.” Luckily for you (if you live near Gettysburg), we’re showing this film this Sunday, October 11th at 3:30pm and Thursday, October 15th at 6:30pm at Gettysburg College.

The biggest issue, as I’m sure you’re aware, if you followed Gwenyth Paltrow’s recent foibles at a SNAP Challenge, is how woefully inaccurate the SNAP Challenge really is.

The SNAP Challenge cannot encapsulate what it means to be chronically hungry or food insecure. It cannot show participants what eating cheap, calorie rich and nutritionally poor food for years and decades and a lifetime does to your body and your mental health. It doesn’t let you experience hypertension, diabetes, or an increased susceptibility to illnesses and infections. Although short term hunger can very easily cause stress, fatigue, and emotional tension, it cannot show you what this would mean to your job, your relationships, and your sense of hope after weeks, months, or even years of hardship.  It cannot encapsulate external factors that so often accompany SNAP recipients’ every day, such as substandard housing, long hours at multiple jobs, or inadequate health care.

However: The SNAP Challenge remains a valuable tool and I urge every. person. reading. this. to take the challenge next week.

Taking the SNAP Challenge is not about fully experiencing hunger in our community. Thinking it could do so trivializes others’ experiences and simplifies a complex and systemic issue. However, by taking the SNAP Challenge, we become better advocates for change. We become emphatic. We develop empathy through a changed perspective. We are motivated. We show solidarity for the 20% of American citizens for whom hunger and food insecurity is an every-day reality. We can use our experience to start conversations and build a more aware and active community. Become an effective agent for a better society.

Take the SNAP Challenge next week, October 12-16 by registering here and joining our online community of supporters here.