Thursday, October 6, 2011
At Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf in Rochester, we have a special group of volunteers that we call the Glean Team. The Glean Team goes out and collects leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been harvested for commercial use. This fresh produce is then brought into our facility and distributed to hungry families in Southeastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
Local farms and orchards call Channel One when they have a surplus supply of crops that they would like to donate and not let go to waste, but are unable to harvest themselves. We then dispatch our Glean Team to pick, dig, and otherwise collect the fresh, nutritious produce. Channel One has gleaned everything from apples to zucchini. Last year, the Glean Team brought in over 100,000 pounds of produce that we were then able to distribute to the tables of families in need through our network of member agencies.
Gleaning at Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf would not work without our incredibly dedicated volunteers. Often the notice for gleaning opportunities is short and yet our Glean Team members are always ready to rearrange their schedules to lend a hand. Last year, our Glean Team of thirty members donated over 400 hours of their time to gleaning for people in need.
Fresh, nutritious produce can often be hard to come by for organizations that are trying to feed the hungry. Gleaning provides Channel One and our member agencies with a valuable source of highly nutritious food that allows us to help feed over 80,000 individuals each year.