October 26, 2011

Exceeding Expectations

So far this month we're exceeding our expectations in the gleaning department of Community Action's "Food For All". With a total of 25,094 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables gleaned this year, we've blown our 2010 totals out of the water!

Last year
"Food For All" gleaned 18,540 pounds of produce. Our inaugural year we started with around eight thousand pounds, mostly generated from our on-site demonstration garden and late season gleans.

Another 4500 pounds of apples are expected to come in this week thanks to local grower Buster Carter. This Okanogan Mason is donating 10 bins of red delicious apples to our distribution center. We will house the fruit in recently donated cold storage space at the Magi facility located just a few blocks from Community Action. This donation will tip us onto the cusp of 30,000 total pounds! The Okanogan Masons donated a substantial amount of apples last year and donate directly to the Omak food bank as well.

November and December are right around the bend and "Food For All" hopes to double last year's total. As a community, thanks to our agricultural based economy, gleaning is still possible in the off-season. To help us distribute this bounty out to our network of eight food banks we are looking for volunteers to come to our warehouse to help pack apples for our end of the month distributions. Our program is also in need of quality fruit boxes. So, if you're interested in helping extend the harvest season, "Food For All" has several avenues for you to take action. You can contact the "Food For All" Representative and gleaning coordinator at 509-422-4041 or 509-833-0336.

October 11, 2011

A New After-School Activity: Gleaning!

Last week, a group of Okanogan High School teachers and staff used their half-day to volunteer with "Food For All" and pulled in 1172 pounds of dappledandy pluots and 237 pounds of the last-of-the-year peaches for the food bank. The first of the after-school gleans was a success and included several seasoned gleaners and a repeat produce donor, John Bartella, a member of the Okanogan Producers Marketing Association (OPMA).

With back-to-school patterns returning to the Okanogan area our volunteer base, mainly parents & kids with summer flexibility, had slightly dwindled. However, with tree fruit still ripening and a window of opportunity left before our first heavy freezes, "Food For All" is scheduling warm, sunny, gorgeous Fall afternoon gleaning opportunities. Our next "after-school" glean is:

Wednesday the 12th
Bartella Farm
Gala apples

To volunteer or to RSVP contact our gleaning coordinator and "Food For All" Representative at 422-4041 x30 or 509-833-0336.