October 5, 2009

Help us glean for another year!

Today's post is by our new Gleaning Coordinator-in-Training, Vince Hill. But before we let Vince take the stage, first we want to note that Glean for the City is nominated to win $20,000 in the Tom's of Maine "50 States for Good" contest... and we need you to help us win!

To vote for us: a) click here b) find Bread for the City's entry (shortcut it by typing Ctrl-F and 'bread') and click to vote for us! You can vote every day, so the best way to help is by taking a pledge to make that daily vote on our Facebook petition here
and spread the word to your friends!

Okay take it away Vince. ed

Hello! I was thrilled to take my first gleaning trip a week ago, as a new part of Bread for the City's staff. I took a drive out with Jeff Wankel to Crooked Run where we met with 4 more volunteers -- including people from an organization called Mover Moms. This being my first time participating in the gleaning project, I had no idea what to expect when we arrived.

What I saw was incredible. I’d already heard staggering statics on the amount of food waste in our country – but the numbers are hard to grasp in and of themselves. As bag after bag of apples accumulated under the mere 10 trees that we gleaned from, I realized the extent of this opportunity. 1000 lbs of apples filled the floor of our cargo van by the end of the day—store-bought quality produce for Bread for the City’s clients, who often have little to no access to fresh produce. The Mover Moms were also gracious enough to give us a sizable donation of children’s books.

In the van ride back, Jeff and I talked about ways to improve the weekly gleaning. My hope is to expand this project to the next level, so that we can do that much more to fight the food crisis in DC. Publicity, coordination and cooperation with other organization– and though the opportunity to open up new access to farm surplus is great in the DC area, I even think it’s something with national potential. I’m excited for the next trip, and even more excited for the upcoming year.

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