GleanSLO calling for volunteers to ‘Harvest for the Hungry’
–Gleaning is the practice of collecting leftover or unused produce from farms, neighborhood gardens and farmer’s markets and sharing that produce with people in need. Between October 16, which is World Food Day and Oct. 24, which is National Food Day, GleanSLO, and the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County are organizing events for the public to get involved in the gleaming movement.
The Central Coast is an area of agricultural abundance, yet there are many people that go hungry. Gleaning is an opportunity for communities to come together and help fight hunger right in their own backyards, while connecting with their neighbors, reducing food waste and creating a healthier community. Volunteers and community partners are needed to help local gleaning groups capture the millions of pounds of food that goes unharvested in fields and neighborhoods across the region.
Multiple gleans at commercial farms and backyards to rescue excess produce are being organized by GleanSLO. Volunteers will meet the harvest leaders at the site and harvest for two hours. Produce collected will be distributed to families in need through the Food Bank. Sign up on the GleanSLO website or call (805) 835-3750.
The regional project, Glean805, is the second joint effort between local gleaning groups throughout the 805 region including GleanSLO, Santa Barbara’s Backyard Bounty, Santa Ynez Fruit and Veggie Rescue, FOODShare Ventura and Ventura County’s Branch of Food Forward to raise awareness of gleaning efforts across San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Additional volunteer opportunities are available in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties by contacting the following: Santa Barbara County: Visit the Backyard Bounty website, phone (805) 967-5741, extension 109 or Santa Ynez Fruit and Veggie Rescue, phone (805) 350-9154. Ventura County: Visit Foodshare Ventura, phone (805) 983-7100 or Food Forward, phone (805) 630-2728.
World Food Day is organized and promoted by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to promotes awareness around global food insecurity issues. National Food Day is promoted by the Center for Science in Public Interest and encourages people to eat “real” food instead of processed foods for health and well-being.