With a glean in their eyes, helping the hungry

Volunteers carry gleaned apples in Virginia. Photo courtesy of St. Andrew Society

If you’ve thought about gleaning, i.e. harvesting field “leftovers,” now is a good time to start in the Triangle, as strawberry gleaners are urgently needed. (If you can’t help now, read the last paragraph for info about gleaning in general.)

A farmer near Benson (about 30 minutes from Raleigh) has generously given the Society of St. Andrew an entire field of strawberries! They’ll be gleaning from about 9 to noon the next couple weeks. Also, they’re looking to take berries to more food ministries. The farmer also has a U-pick field where you can pick berries to buy or you can buy berries already picked.

For more information, contact Rebecca Page, Triangle Gleaning Coordinator, Society of St. Andrew, gleantriangle AT endhunger.org, 919-533-9609.

Here’s what I wrote about gleaning in my book: On larger farms, a fair amount of food is left in the fields after the professional pickers come through. Enter the volunteer gleaners with the Society of St. Andrew, a Virginia-based nonprofit hunger relief ministry whose volunteers remove the leftovers from fields and packing houses. The North Carolina branch, based in Durham and open since 1992, organizes some 11,000 volunteers yearly and gleans a whopping 18.6 million servings of fruits and vegetables, distributed to more than 2,600 charitable agencies statewide. And they can always use more.

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