We are writing to introduce you to a new gleaning program in Kansas City and invite you to consider having your fall fields and orchards gleaned by volunteers with the Society of St. Andrew, an anti-hunger non-profit.
Because of the economic crisis, there are more people than ever going hungry in Kansas City and the surrounding communities. Local food pantries and meals programs report that they can't keep up with the need. Harvesters announced on Oct. 10 that the number of people seeking emergency food assistance is currently up 50 percent and continuing to rise. Harvesters distributed 600,000 pounds more in January - September of this year than they did for the same period last year.
Your farm could help meet some of this need and could help feed some of the hungry. At this time of year, many of us have more product in the field than we can move. There are culls and "seconds", and we're beginning to look at cleaning the fields out so we can put them to bed for the winter. Society of St. Andrew can work with you, providing volunteers and transportation, to take the product that you might normally compost or let go to waste and make sure that it gets eaten.
This is their first year, and their resources are limited, but they have some opportunities to glean in the last week in October and throughout all but the first week in November. If you are willing to have your fields gleaned, they'll line up volunteers who will come to your farm and, under your direction, harvest and load the vegetables or fruit that you donate to them. You can get a tax credit for your donation.
You'll also know that you helped feed hungry people with your healthy, locally grown food. Your contribution will make a difference for the lives of people who are struggling to make ends meet in these hard economic times.
You'll find more information below (scroll down) on how to invite Society of St. Andrew to come to your farm. Lisa Ousley is the Director and she can help make the process happen smoothly and easily for you. If your harvest is over for the year, please consider working with Society of St. Andrew next year. Contact Lisa this fall and talk about your harvest schedule so she can get you on the calendar for gleaning in 2009.
Katherine Kelly, Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture
Otavio Silva, Good Natured Family Farms
Sanjun Gu, Lincoln University of Missouri/University of Missouri Extension
Ted Carey, K-State Research and Extension.
To Invite the Society of St. Andrew to glean
at your farm, call 816-921-0856 and talk to
She will need to know:
- what type of produce you have
- approximately how much to expect to glean
- where your farm is located
- and -
- when it will be available for gleaning