Apples, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Fairytale eggplant, Green beans, Kale, Peppers, Strawberries, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Zucchini…

What do all these items have in common?
They have all been gleaned this year by Halleigh Benner.

She and other volunteers make The Gleaning Project’s wheels turn.
Without them we would be nothing.

Halleigh first learned about gleaning from going to an “Empty Bowls” fund raiser at Gettysburg College. She works with other volunteers to collect leftover crops from farms and orchards that are not economical for farmers to pick. The Gleaning Project then donates the gleaned produce to folks throughout Adams and Franklin Counties who are unable to afford enough food to live a healthy active lifestyle.

Fitting gleaning into her schedule isn’t easy. She currently works 3 jobs (at Target, a restaurant, and the US Post Office). But, she says, “Gleaning is always the highlight of my week. I know I did something rewarding. I’m kind of sad it’s winter and there won’t be anymore gleans.”

Wondering what it’s like to be an in-field gleaning volunteer?
Learn a bit about Halleigh’s experience in her own words:

Food Lessons:
“I love that through gleaning we are preserving foods that are perfectly fine but don’t look good enough to sell. I never knew how some cucumbers get wasted because they are bent or a pepper won’t sell because it has some yellow in it.” Halleigh said she is shocked at how much food waste there is when so many people are going hungry.

“Gleaning has taught me so much about the quality of foods and what they should taste like. I like the tomatoes the best. They’re all different kinds, like zebra tomatoes. Some are sweet, some acidic. I thought I didn’t like cauliflower but the other day a gleaning staffer said to me, ‘Just try it,’ and it was actually pretty good.”

Fellow Gleaners:
Halleigh said she’s met a lot of new people. “Some have been gardeners so they told me about their gardens and how they plant. Whenever I have my own house, I want to have a garden.”

Gleaning isn’t hard to do, she said, “The longest glean I ever did was 90 minutes long. If you’re not up to doing something, there is always someone there to help you.” “By the way,” she added, “we sure could use more wheelbarrows, if anyone can donate one. They make a big difference.”

As we reflect on the 2016 season, we want to thank our volunteers and share what you have accomplished for our organization and for our community.  With over 1,000 volunteers this year alone, we know we have a lot of stories to tell. Share your favorite memory with us… about what you enjoyed, what scared you, what surprised you, what pushed you out of your comfort zone… you name it, we’ll share it!

Send us your memories!
Via Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegleaningprojectscpa
Or send a story to our email (thegleaningproject@gmail.com) and we will feature it on our blog. Want to be anonymous? No problem.
Share pictures to our instagram: @the_gleaning_project

Interested in volunteering for The Gleaning Project during the winter months?
Check out the volunteer section of our website to see how you can get involved and shoot us an email or phone call so we can get you started!
Bridget in the Adams County Office: 717-334-7634 x 162
Jay in the Franklin County Office: 717-492-6269

Thanks again to each and every one of you who has spent time to help reduce food loss and end hunger in South Central Pennsylvania.

Oh wow. It’s the day before Thanksgiving.

How did that happen?  November’s over.  The holidays are here.  Wow.

We thank all of you, All of You! – who grow good food, who volunteer to help us glean excess food, who help those who have less enjoy more, and who follow along to share and spread our work building community solutions around hunger and nutrition in South Central PA.

There is so much. So much to say and to be thankful for. So much abundance. And opportunity. So many good people doing their best to make our community and world a better place.

There are also so. many. challenges. Lessons need learning. Problems need fixing. We have so much work to do…  This time of year, we’re thankful for all of that too. That’s how we get better. That’s why we’re here.

We hope you all enjoy this season’s end. Happy Thanksgiving! We’re looking forward to family, community, new friends, aka old strangers. And food! Glorious food.

Much appreciation.
All the very best.

The Glean Team

World Hunger Week 2016

World Hunger Week has come and gone, but the issues of food insecurity affect our community everyday.

This past week made us reflect on hunger on an international, national, and local scale. 

It reminded us that one out of every two children in Pennsylvania are eligible for food assistance.

It reminded us that one in five seniors can’t afford enough food to live a healthy, active, lifestyle.

It reminded us of how unjust our food system is, when soda and junk food is more accessible than fresh fruits and veggies. 

It reminded us of the effects that poor nutrition has on our physical and mental health.

It reminded us that every single one of us has the power to make a difference.

It inspires us to fight for change.

 

Missed out on some of our World Hunger Week events?
Scroll down to see what we’ve been up to.

Continue reading World Hunger Week 2016

How long will gleaning last?

Well, this 2016 season of gleaning… we hope will last ’til Thanksgiving.

The weather’s gonna decide for us though.

That wind knocking on my window right now has a mind of its own. There’s a hard frost headed our way this coming Wednesday.  And does anyone remember that time it snowed around Halloween a couple years back?

All to say, we get what we get.  We, you, The Gleaning Project, will make the most and best of whatever we’re presented with in these next, few, short weeks.

We’ll be pushing hard, trying to save as much good food for our neighbors in need, to reduce hunger and improve nutrition in South Central PA, while we still have the chance this 2016 season.

Lots of opportunities to help this week.
– Details about this week’s Adams County events here…
– Details about this week’s Franklin County events here…

And you can always
– find us on Facebook…
– and here on Instagram.

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 : )