Every Penny Counts!

Ever wonder why our logo has the recycling symbol? Well, we definitely repurpose veggies that would have otherwise gone to waste, but we also repurpose stuff!

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Since it is Glean-A-Mania (our second annual penny-per-pound fundraiser) and we are asking for donations of your hard-earned pennies, we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain into the many ways your money may be spent.  

We use materials when they are no longer pretty, but still functional. Sometimes, we even have to “jerry-rig” them with a little bit of duct tape, and a whole lot of love. Take this broom, for example, which helps us keep the produce stand clean. We could get a new one that looks prettier, but we would rather use it until it doesn't work. A lot of our materials, from buckets to pallets and leaky hoses, look a little bit like this - they have seen better days, but they get the job done! 

When we ask, our amazing volunteers and community members search high and low in their home for items they can donate, from mason jars for preservation to rags and cardboard boxes. 

You might be asking yourself, if they can get materials donated and use them until well past their expiration dates, then why does The Gleaning Project need me to pledge a penny-per-pound this week?

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Great question! There is some stuff that is hard to get donated, like gas for our gleaning machines (trucks) or cardstock for our recipe cards. When we are thinking about buying something new, we think carefully about the impact that item could have. For example, we know that preservation classes are a great way to use up produce that we have an abundance of, and to teach folks the useful skill of canning. Therefore, it would make total sense to buy a new canning bath that is a little less rusty! 

At the end of the day, we also need to employee 1-2 staff in each county to make sure deliveries are picked up, gleans are scheduled on farms and orchards, volunteers are coordinated, produce stands stocked, and so much more. Gleaning Coordinators work so hard, working nights and weekends during gleaning season to save the veggies! You can read more about a day in the life of a Gleaning Coordinator here. 

Here at The Gleaning Project, we value connecting our community and reducing hunger in a way that is transparent, efficient, and impactful, and we always welcome suggestions on anything we can improve! 

Abby McElhineyComment