This is a partnership between Growing Worcestershire and Feedback (a national charity dedicated to reducing food waste particularly at the farm level http://feedbackglobal.org). We aim to reduce food waste and direct it to local Charities. When larger quantities are gleaned we will pass it on to Fareshare West Midlands to distribute. http://www.fareshare.org.uk/regional-centres/west-midlands/
What is gleaning?
- It is the collecting of leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
- Modern gleaning involves volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities working together to salvage the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms every year across the UK and Europe, and direct this fresh, nutritious food to people in need.
- It is often uneconomic for farmers and growers to harvest the remaining crop towards the end of a season or to send misshapen or non-standard sized fruit and vegetables to markets.
- Apples, pears, plums, strawberries, cauliflower, cabbages, lettuces, pumpkins and parsnips are just some of the produce already gleaned by Gleaning Groups across the UK.
- Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system.
- Leviticus 19:9,10: “Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger.”
- Gleaning was a right of the poor up to the late 18th century, under common law. After a farmer had harvested his crops, local people could gather any leftovers, providing a useful supplement to a family’s income or providing additional food.
What are the benefits of gleaning?
- Reduces food waste
- Makes healthy food available, particularly to people on low incomes
- Connects local communities to food producers
- Provides opportunities for all members of communities to work together
Get involved in the Worcestershire Gleaning network
- Become a gleaning volunteer. You can register using the Feedback online gleaning list. You will then be invited to take part in a number of gleaning days each year in Worcestershire and surrounding areas. Join a group of like minded people to harvest crops, share in a picnic lunch, take a bag of produce home and celebrate that you have helped local charities by supplying food which otherwise might have gone to waste. http://feedbackglobal.org/campaigns/gleaning-network/
- Put us in touch with Farmers and Growers in your area who you think might be worth contacting for gleaning opportunities. Contact our Worcestershire Gleaning Coordinator Garethe Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Put us in contact with beneficiary organisations in your area who you think might be able to use gleaned produce. Eg Homeless Shelters, Lunch Clubs, Children’s homes etc. Again contact our Worcestershire Gleaning Coordinator at email@example.com
Worcestershire Gleaning Hub’s First Big Gleaning Day
Wonderful news, Worcestershire has had it’s biggest glean yet! On Saturday 24th October 2015 armed with 30 glorious volunteers an incredible 3.5 tonnes of delicious gala apples equivalent to 43,750 portions of fruit were saved from going to waste because they were to small and redirected to people in need all over the country
The photos are available online at; https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.759582900808208.1073741922.141410032625501&type=3
- Around 3.5 tonnes equivalent to 43,750 portions of Gala apples were saved from a farm unable to sell them due to strict cosmetic standards (too small).
- St Pauls Hostel, YMCA and Foodbank in Worcester and Wyre Forest Nightstop, Kidderminster Youth House and Foodbank took what they could. The Mathew Tree Project in Bristol had 750kg. The rest was picked up by Fareshare, the largest food distribution charity in the UK who will distribute them out to those in need in Bristol, Cardiff, London, Chesterfield and Southampton.
- 30 volunteers in total came and were of all ages from 6 and 12 to 60 plus.
- The day was a lot of fun despite the rain, involved loads of community spirit and a ‘bring and share’ style picnic lunch.
- The farmer who invited us to his farm to hold the gleaning day was particularly friendly and extremely generous with his time.
Photos of the day are available online at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.759582900808208.1073741922.141410032625501&type=3
There are a couple more gleans in the pipeline very soon so please if you haven’t already register as a volunteer at: ow.ly/JUyZR
Volunteer Paul Snookes – “Thank you for organising such an amazing gleaning event. I totally loved it. It was wonderful seeing so many young people there too. It gives me hope for the future.”
Volunteer Steve Dent – “We really enjoyed the day and meeting fellow gleaners.”
Volunteer Kimmi Nakano – “What a great cause, good people, brilliant day. Loved it!”
Worcestershire Gleaning Coordinator, Lizzie Pegler – “It was a truly fantastic day. So wonderful seeing people of all ages coming together to help tackle food waste, help those in need and have a fun day out in the countryside. I am ever so grateful for the volunteers and farmer’s generosity, time and enthusiasm – we couldn’t do this without them.”
We now have a new Gleaning Co-ordinator
Garethe Hunt is our new gleaning co-ordinator and his role is to coordinate gleaning for the “West of England” hub. This covers Worcestershire down to Bristol and all areas in between.
Garethe is working 2 days a week as Gleaning Coordinator and still doing 2 days a week for “The Real Junk Food Project” in Birmingham. Some of you will have met him when he and his colleagues provided us with a delicious lunch at an apple gleaning in Warwickshire last year.
Lizzie Pegler is now working for Camden & Islington Public Health in London.
In 2015 we held 8 gleans large and small and gleaned:
- Potato Glean 150kg 5 volunteers
- Apple glean 90kg 1125 portions 3 volunteers
- Apple glean 80kg 1000 portions 2 volunteers
- Bramley Glean 300kg 3,750 portions 5 volunteers
- Gala glean 3.5 tonnes 43,750 portions 31 volunteers
- Gala Glean 4 tonnes 50,000 26 volunteers
- Braeburn Glean 4.35 54,375 portions 29 Volunteers
- Braeburn glean 3.12 39,000 portions 20 volunteers
A grand Total of 15.59 tonnes has been gleaned
List of Partners
- Maggs Day Centre
- St Pauls Hostel
- Worcester Foodbank
- St Richards Hospice
- Acorns Children’s Hospice
- The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham
- Bristol Skipchen
- The Mathew Tree Project
- Kidderminster Foodbank
- Wyre Forest Nightstop
- Kidderminster Youth House
- The Old Needle Works
- Crafty Cafe at the Old Needle Works
- The Charity Shop at the Memorial Hall Headless Cross
- St. Stephen’s Church to complement the Food Bank
- The Sandycroft Wellbeing Centre
- Redditch Foodbank
- RYCE at The Redi-Centre
- The Emmanuel Church (Redditch Nightstop)
- St Luke’s First School
PRESS AND MEDIA COVERAGE
Getting People Talking
The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham
Malvern Hills Food Alliance
Transition Malvern Hills
BBC Herefordshire & Worcestershire
Redditch & Alcester Advertiser
I have absolutely loved taking on my role as the Worcestershire co-ordinator and have found the whole process exciting, interesting and hugely educational. But as this season comes to an end and things quieten my current finances, the Christmas period, my family moving home and my future now have to take precedence for a bit.
The new gleaning season begins March/April time and I am in discussion with Feedback over carrying on my position. Between now and then I will be keeping things ticking over and checking my emails, doing what I can to promote the network (find me on free radio in the next few days 🙂 but I will also be using the time to focus on saving up some money and finding a career.
Peas & Love,
Lizzie Pegler Original Gleaning Coordinator