Through a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local will be coordinating gleaning projects in the Seacoast region! Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms, gardeners, and other producers, and the many food pantry’s in our area.
Gleaning is an ancient practice of gathering post-harvest fruits and vegetables from farmers fields, reducing the amount of produce that goes to waste. Gleaning, or harvesting surplus produce, is also one of the most significant ways we can provide fresh food to the needy families in our community. With the invitation of the property owner, farmer or gardener, volunteers will pick surplus vegetables and fruit and deliver them to the local food pantry, shelter or soup kitchen.
We will be organizing gleaning days through out the summer and fall, and will have more information soon.
Farm to Pantry: We will need volunteers to help us harvest foods on the farm, and transport foods to food pantrys.
Market to Pantry: We will also continue our Farmers’ Market Gleaning, where we invite patrons of the market and farmers to donate fresh foods to a local pantry. We will need a volunteer to help collect foods at the end of the market day, and deliver it to a local pantry.
Great Overview of Gleaning from NPR – Gleaning A Harvest For The Needy By Fighting Waste
If you are interested in becoming a gleaner and joining our volunteer email list, please email Snap@seacoasteatlocal.org.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program is looking for gardeners willing to plant an extra row of fruit and/or vegetables this year to donate to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Produce most needed by the program includes fruit of all types, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, onions and potatoes.
The Maine Harvest for Hunger project is an outreach program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The purpose of the Maine Harvest for Hunger project is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to needy individuals and families in Maine. Master Gardeners all over Maine are recruited to become involved as gardeners and local coordinators. Every home gardener in Maine can plant and donate extra produce and be involved with Maine Harvest for Hunger. How about you?
For more information or to sign up, visit the website umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/maine-harvest-for-hunger or call the UMaine Extension office at (800) 287-1471.
NH Farm to School is helping organize gleaning at Wake Robin Farm this coming Tuesday:
“Wake Robin Farm in Stratham has an abundance of turnips this year and is interested in having gleaners come to harvest them. I have made arrangements to go to the farm next Tuesday morning to harvest and then deliver the turnips to several area food pantries as well as a few schools. Many hands are needed to harvest this abundance so I’m putting a call out for volunteers! If you have a few hours to spare to help out that would be awesome! The weather is supposed to be nice. You will need to bring a knife or something to cut the tops off as well as some boxes to put the turnips in. I can deliver some of them but also need another vehicle to deliver.”
Email Stacey Purslow, Stacey.Purslow@unh.edu, for more information and to let her know if you can help out! And thank you Wake Robin Farm for your generosity to the community!
In collaboration with NOFA-NH, NH Farm to School is organizing several gleaning programs around New Hampshire:
Gleaning: “to recover or gather produce from a farmer’s field that has been left behind from commercial harvesting methods or not picked because it is not perfect.”
The food is completely edible and usually left to rot or be put in the compost pile or used to feed the pigs. A better use would be to pick it and deliver it to those in need. The NH Farm to School program in collaboration with NOFA NH is working to organize several gleaning programs around New Hampshire, but we need your help. We need willing farmers to allow volunteers to post-harvest their fields. We need volunteers to help harvest, pack and transport the food. We need community groups, food pantries and schools who want the food and can take it on short notice. If you are interested in being a part of this effort as a farmer, volunteer, school or organization that would like the food please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.