Our new HAH National program will help RFH to partner with key organizations involved in developing and improving gleaning and produce recovery programs in states targeted by the USDA StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity. HAH National will place AmeriCorps VISTA to help build and expand programs starting in November, 2016.
HAH National Locations
One major area of food waste in America is in farmers’ fields, where crops that don’t meet top-grade quality are left to rot or be plowed under. Gleaning is the traditional biblical practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot, or be plowed under after harvest. The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, growers, and distribution agencies to salvage this food for the needy.
Tens of thousands of volunteers from churches, synagogues, scout troops, senior citizen groups, and other organizations participate each year in Society of St. Andrew gleaning activities. Each year, tens of millions of pounds of produce are salvaged and given to the poor at no cost to them or to the food pantry or kitchen that feeds them.
Society of St. Andrew will host Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in three states:
- Florida Gleaning Program in Orlando, Florida – Position has been filled
- Georgia Gleaning Program in Tifton, Georgia – Position has been filled
- Mississippi Gleaning Program in Jackson, Mississippi – apply here
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (the Alliance) and the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) have partnered to form a gleaning network within the state of Arkansas. Gleaning is the biblical practice of hand-gathering crops left after harvest. The Alliance and SoSA volunteers glean fields and orchards donated by growers. The produce is then given to food banks, local pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters that feed or distribute food to their neighbors in need. The Alliance and its members serve over 900 hunger relief organizations in all 75 Arkansas counties. Since the program began, more then 8.5 million pounds of fresh produce has been gleaned from Arkansas fields. The cost of operating the Arkansas Gleaning Project averages less than 3 cents per pound of produce, and there is never a charge to the feeding agency or relief organization.
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance will host a Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in Little Rock, Arkansas – Position has been filled
Food for Others is an important part of Northern Virginia’s safety net for those needing food when an emergency strikes, and for the growing number of working poor who are unable to make ends meet and need to supplement their inadequate food supplies.
Food for Others obtains much of its food through food rescue operations and food drives. Staff and volunteers pick up good food that would be thrown away from local grocery stores and other retail food establishments. The food is brought to the warehouse for temporary storage, including refrigeration as appropriate. Food drives provide most of our non-perishable food.
Local merchants, the USDA, food drives, and crop harvests provide the food; volunteers and staff provide the hands; and charitable contributions and fundraising events provide the funds. Charitable contributions provide a major part of Food for Others’ budget.
Food for Others will host a Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in Fairfax, Virginia – Position has been filled
Community Food Share supplies food to local nonprofit organizations, that in turn distribute the food to their clients, free of charge. They collect donated food from many sources, and store the donated food in their warehouse where it is sorted, packaged, and checked for spoilage. Approximately 45 local human service agencies rely on Community Food Share for free food to pass on to their clients. They also operate programs like the Feeding Families program which provides free food to families with school-children living in poverty.
Community Food Share will host a Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in Louisville, Colorado – Position has been filled
Corporation for National and Community Service will provide six AmeriCorps VISTA positions.
Walmart Foundation is underwriting the cost of the national pilot.