Glean!

Gleaning Season is here! Come help harvest the bounty of this region! Food For All is looking for community groups who want to take the initiative to harvest local produce for the food banks.  We are looking for on-call volunteers who can flex to the farmer's schedules.  We receive donations on a whim and then a call to harvest is made.  If you'd like to glean call Kyle Jacobs at 422-4041 x30.  Volunteers are needed and volunteer coordinators are especially needed for this type of activity.  Please call with any questions you may have and let's "glean it like we mean it"!

A substantial amount of Okanogan County's residents eat poorly because of the cost of buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Typically these residents also turn to the food banks to feed their families. Food banks rarely carry fresh produce because of the cost of transportation and storage. Food For All is the link providing nutritious food to Okanogan County residents through gleaning.

In 2009 we gleaned 7,919 lbs of fresh produce.
2010 we have gleaned 18,540 lbs of produce.
2011 we gleaned 34,960 lbs of produce.
Thanks to our volunteers and donors, gleaning has almost doubled in the last year!!!!
What is "Gleaning"?

Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover produce after a field or orchard has been harvested for commercial purposes. It is an ancient practice, dating back several thousand years as a way to help the poor. Okanogan County is a bountiful agricultural area with many fruit orchards and vegetable producers. The Food For All gleaning program is an effective way to increase the amount of healthy foods available for those in need within Okanogan County.

Types of "Gleaning":

-"Field Gleaning" refers to crops that have been previously harvested for sale or consumption and the remaining food is collected. "Field Gleaning" can also refer to harvesting from trees or fields where it was not economically viable to harvest due to either cosmetic or market conditions. This tends to yield a greater amount of produce.
-"Cull bin gleaning" is when a grade of produce is unmarketable for a variety of reasons, including size, color or superficial damage. Farmers can also deem produce to be culls if they are in excess. "Cull bin donations" are generally large bins or boxes of produce that then require volunteer labor to sort it.
-"Garden Gleaning" Okanogan County is home to an array of green-thumb oriented people who produce large amounts of fruit and produce in personal and community gardens. Many of our donations are from individuals who donate their surplus either at harvest time or from cold storage.

If you would like to volunteer to glean or to donate, contact Kyle Jacobs, Gleaning Coordinator, at Okanogan County Community Action Council 509.422.4041 ext. 30, food4all@occac.com