Coordinating Gleaning

Saturday, I attended a training to become a field supervisor for gleaning outings. In other words, if you sign up to glean crops with the Society of St. Andrew, I might just be the guy in charge. Scary.

While I’ve volunteered a bunch in the past, but haven’t been out gleaning in far too long. That’s why I jumped at the chance to oversee some events because it’ll provide the needed kick in the pants.

At the training, I had a chance to peruse the SoSA Annual Report. I was pleased to learn that the pounds of food saved increased 13 percent from 2008 to 2009. That means more crops are being gleaned and food is being salvaged. That’s good, because the number of hungry Americans keeps growing.

photo by DeaPeaJay via creative commonsTwo other tidbits that came up in the training:

Last year, a potato sorter in North Carolina donated 2.5 million pounds of spuds that were rejected as imperfect or the wrong size. That speaks to how particular the market has become. What would Mr. Potato Head say?

An apple grower in the North Carolina mountains had a whole bunch of apples to be gleaned because he’d been priced out by cheaper Chinese imports. The 3 cents per pound that this grower was offered wouldn’t have covered the labor of harvesting.

If you’re interested in helping, SoSA leads gleaning outings in many states and is open to everyone, except odd potato haters.

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