There are so many people in need of loving care. It is overwhelming to think about all the need in our community.
It is easy to say, I can’t make a difference – my contribution is just a drop in a bucket. The problem is so great, I can’t fix it.
1 in 6 people in our community does not know from where their next meal will come.
This is called Food Insecurity.
In Fayette County that number is over 48,000 people. Almost 11,000 of these are children.
The need is great….the need is overwhelming.
What if you said, I can’t do it alone, but I can help. That’s what three people did when they thought gleaning might help ease hunger. How may drops fill a bucket? If you’ve ever put a container under a small drip, you might have been surprised when you soon returned to find the bucket overflowing!
That is our story.
Gleaning means to collect the remains of the crops, the excess food.
We started with what seemed like a simple task –
find a source of excess food – we first targeted our local growers at the farmers market;
find a partner to get it to people in need – we first worked with agencies and hunger programs working with people in need of food;
find volunteers – our friends and families joined us to pick up the donated produce and take it to a distribution point.
Now, over 375,000 pounds of gleaned fresh produce has been distributed by more than 300 volunteers to over 50 partners distributing the food as hot meals or take home bags of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Simple, in a way, but requiring much coordination and many partnerships.
This food would have been waste if not for gleaning.
Our partners include emergency food agencies, hunger ministries, government agencies and neighborhood ambassadors. We serve programs like God’s Pantry, Catholic Action Center, Moveable Feast, Hope centers, Lexington Rescue Mission, Nathaniel Mission; many church hunger programs, like Maxwell Street Presbyterian, Calvary Church of the Nazarene; and many more. Feedback from partnering programs say things like:
“We did not have fresh produce in our pantry before partnering with GleanKY”
“We feed more people because of the produce from GleanKY”
“For low-income families, fresh produce is not an option”
“Our meals are more nutritious”
We also help create new programs. Our newest opened this year in January at Calvary Church of the Nazarene in Cardinal Valley. Meeting with people from the Elementary School and the Church, our gleaned produce is now distributed to over 45 families identified by the school in an area once under-served.
One Volunteer Makes a Difference. The success of our organization rests in the hands, feet, and hearts of our volunteers.
One Donor Makes a Difference. Financial donations allowed us to hire a part-time director in March 2013. Last year, our gleaned pounds increased 77% and our distribution partners increased 74%.
Supporters who spread the word about gleaning and hunger create more volunteers and more donors.
Gleaning makes a difference.
Saying, Yes, I can help, makes a difference.
You make a difference.