Gleaning

With the uncertainty that COVID-19 is causing within our food system, our gleaning program is more important than ever. We are ramping up our efforts to make sure perfectly good food isn’t left to go to waste. But we need YOUR help. 

Are you a farmer with extra crops and don’t want them to go to waste? Learn more about how we can help you and start setting up a gleaning operation today!

We need volunteers for the 2020 growing/harvest season (May through late October) Sign up to receive volunteer opportunities for upcoming gleaning events!

What is it?

Gleaning is the practice of harvesting left-behind produce from farms that is not sellable and redistributing it to organizations and people in need. Either these crops are “seconds” and have minor flaws, or there is no market for the amount of crops grown. 

 

We have found that farmers are willing to donate their extra crop for those in need, but cannot afford the costs of harvesting and distribution. This program removes the cost barrier and pays the farmer for their excess produce.

 

With the help of volunteer “gleaners” we head to the farm and spend the day harvesting, sorting, and packaging the fruits or vegetables. Once harvested, the produce is typically donated to food pantries and other organizations that use it for community meals or to give to clients directly. It’s a win/win/win to reduce food waste, create a new market for farmers and get healthy, LOCAL produce to more Iowans!