Gleaning Program

Rescuing Excess Produce From Local Farms and Gardens

Peppers Gleaned from Muirhead Farm
Gleaning at Helsing Junction Farm
Gleaned Produce from Kirsop Farm
Mission Statement
Shiro Plum Glean July 2020
Thurston County Food Bank

Glean: to harvest or collect leftover vegetables and fruit that would otherwise go to waste

The mission of our Gleaning Program is to provide an abundance of fresh, local produce to our neighbors. Our strategy is to partner with local farmers and gardeners to rescue surplus produce, increasing access to nutritious food while reducing food waste. Each year, we glean an average 26,000–30,000 pounds of produce!

In 2009, Rotary First Harvest, now Harvest Against Hunger (HAH), placed the first AmeriCorps Summer Associate at the Food Bank, which laid the foundation for the program. Each Summer the Food Bank is a HAH host site for a 10-week AmeriCorps placement dedicated to supporting our Gleaning Program. Summer Associates have been instrumental in helping us build and strengthen capacity for gleaning.

From May into winter, whether collecting pre-harvested produce, harvesting in a farm field, or picking neighborhood fruit trees, our gleaning volunteers enjoy camaraderie and fresh air while making a real difference in their community!

2023 is a transitional year for our Gleaning Program as we work to create the staff and structure to fully support the program. The goal is to come back stronger and with a renewed commitment to gleaning next year and into the future — and to see how we might potentially fit into a newly forming Washington State Gleaning Network. Stay tuned!

Do you have a crop you would like to donate through our Gleaning Program? Register using the link below and we will see if a glean can be arranged. Please email Mackenzie at [email protected] with questions.