Baking for a good cause

Meet Jen and Corey. Last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) I met with the two of them (and their adorable dog Violet) outside of the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen. We unloaded NINE beautiful pumpkin desserts from their car, to the hands of grateful volunteers who were preparing lunch for a full dining hall. The soup kitchen would serve Jen and Corey's pumpkin pies, breads, and cakes the following day on Thanksgiving-one of their busiest days of the year.


Over here at The Gleaning Project, we got a phone call from Tim at Gray Wolf Plantation. His pumpkin patches were producing more than ever before and he didn't want to see them rot in the field. So, we set up a Halloween pumpkin glean. With the help of 14 amazing volunteers, we rescued 8 tons-that's right, 16,000 lbs-of pumpkins in just under 4 hours.


Driving out of the fields with 8 tons of pumpkins (that would have otherwise gone to waste) was exhilarating. Trying to figure out what to do with all of them before they went bad was nerve racking.

We shared a LOT of pumpkins with our local community partners like, The SCCAP Food Pantry in GettysburgOperation Community Care, Family First Health, and Pathstone. We even canned pumpkin for one of our fall canning classes. But, we needed to move beyond our normal giving scope of Adams County. We shared thousands of pumpkins with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Healthy World Café (a pay-how-you-can community café in York), Project Share in Carlisle, and Food Reclamation Network of Centre County (a new gleaning network in State College).

Nonetheless, we were still left with bins and bins of pumpkins. We had to get creative.

That's where Jen and Corey come in.


We sent out an email to all of our amazing volunteers asking if anyone would be willing to pick up pumpkins from us to turn into delicious desserts. That way we could encourage eating (not just carving) of pumpkins. Jen responded with enthusiasm. She said,

"I really want to help with gleaning, but I can't multitask while I'm gleaning... I can, however, roast pumpkin in the crock pot or the oven while I am working!"

It was a match made in heaven. We even recruited some of our LIU student volunteers to help us de-seed and de-goop pumpkins to help with the cooking process!


The story doesn't end here.

This is where YOU come in.

The holiday season is upon us and the gleaning season isn't over yet.

We're getting more pumpkins and even more apples.

Wouldn't it be nice to bring apple pies, apple dumplings, apple bread, apple sauce, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, or other treats to our local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and senior centers?

Follow Jen and Corey's example. Spend time with your family, stay warm next to the oven, and whip up your favorite recipe using gleaned produce.

Contact The Gleaning Project if you're interested in helping us feed Adams County this winter. 717-334-7634 ext.162

Or directly sign up for our Adams County Gleaning Bakers email list here: