Volunteers ’glean’ local farms for leftover produce to combat hunger

in News
Kent Porter / The Press Democrat

Under a searing blue sky on a recent 90-degree afternoon in the Dry Creek Valley, a group of amateur harvesters met at a local family farm to pick nectar white peaches and shishito peppers to take to local homeless shelters.

The meetup, organized by Healdsburg nonprofit Farm to Pantry, was one of a dozen recent “gleans” the group held at Sonoma County farms.

Gleaning can be defined as gathering leftover food from farms, gardens or orchards to give to those in need. The practice dates back to biblical times, when the poor were commonly guaranteed the right to comb through farmers’ fields after a harvest.

In recent years, volunteer organizations like Farm to Pantry have taken up the ancient tradition as a way to cut back on food waste and donate fresh, local produce to hunger relief efforts.

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