Source: I Love to Glean and Senior Gleaners
March 14, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- On Wednesday, March 16, 2022,
starting at 1:30 p.m., I Love to Glean will be providing a monthly drive through food distribution with food provided by Feeding San Diego. This will be their fifth consecutive month of distributing food to families at the VFW located at 2885 Lemon Grove Avenue, Lemon Grove.
Volunteers are needed earlier that day to sort and pack family bags and to help during the drive through distribution. If you are interested in helping, please go to www.ilovetoglean.org/volunteer and submit a volunteer application.
I Love to Glean works to increase the capacity of food going out to our neighbors in need. Started in April 2020, I Love to Glean has provided and distributed over 3.6 million pounds of food to families all over San Diego County.
The Senior Gleaners of San Diego County need fresh fruit donations and volunteers to feed hungry county residents especially in East County communities.
Donating fruit saves residents the work of picking and disposing of extra fruit. Donors receive a receipt for tax deduction purposes. To schedule a crew of Senior Gleaners on-line, visit the website at www.seniorgleanerssdco.org. You may also call 619-633-9180 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1994, Senior Gleaners volunteers aged 55 or more have gleaned tons of produce annually throughout the county. Besides gleaning produce, the group collects unsold products donated by grocers. All the food is provided at no cost to the San Diego Food Bank and similar organizations. In 2021, despite the limitations of the pandemic, the group collected more than 180,000 pounds of food that would have otherwise been wasted.
Along with donations of produce, the organization needs volunteers to assist with picking, collection and transportation. Most gleaners volunteer 3-4 hours one day per week, but there are no required minimum commitments. Volunteers can form mini-crews of two or three people who set their own schedule.
Gleaning groups maintain a single Web site listing organizations throughout the county seeking spare produce. Visit www.sandiegogleaners.org to find descriptions of each group, contact information and the geographic area each serves.
"In our county, at least 500,000 tons of food is wasted annually, adding 18 percent to landfill volumes, while 500,000 people live in poverty," said Margaret Burton, Gleaner board president.
"Rather than compost edible food or dump it in landfills where it creates harmful methane gas, it makes more sense to support groups like gleaners that will get the food to people who need it," Burton said.
Burton noted that groups listed on the Website work with donors who have only a couple of backyard trees, homeowners with small orchards and farmers with hundreds of trees.
WHAT'S A GLEANER? For centuries, gleaners have collected food that would otherwise be wasted to feed the hungry. The term originates from the practice of landowners leaving portions of their fields or crops for the poor to harvest to feed their families.