Boston Area Gleaners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing surplus farm crops for people in need. They distribute high-quality, locally grown produce to food banks, pantries, and meal programs by working closely with farmers, providing volunteer labor to harvest what would otherwise be plowed under.
What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is the act of collecting surplus crops from farmers' fields. In ancient times, landowners invited peasants onto their fields after the main harvest to take what was left over. Gleaning was a method of improving food security for the poor.
Today, Boston Area Gleaners practices the same method. We organize groups of volunteers to harvest surplus crops from local farms. (There are many reasons why farmers have surplus crops to donate--click here to learn about them.) The high quality, nutritious fruits and vegetables are then distributed to Boston area food pantries, meal programs, and low-income markets.
How much food does Boston Area Gleaners glean each year?
In 2016, we gleaned over 420,000 pounds of 60 crop types from 53 farms in eastern Massachusetts. We distributed these 1.68 million four-ounce servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to our partner hunger relief agencies that serve our food-insecure neighbors. Since we began 2004, we have gleaned over 1.2 million pounds of fresh local produce for the benefit of people in need.
Click HERE to learn more about Boston Area Gleaners.