The Chatham-Kent Food Policy Council has determined that food access is a priority area and have been working to develop a gleaning project for Chatham-Kent.
Gleaning is one initiative that aims to increase food security by increasing food availability, food access, and food use. Gleaning is commonly understood as the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested, or collecting produce individual homeowners who have excess in the gardens or on fruit trees.
As a first step, in June 2014, a forum was held to bring together individuals who were interested in hearing what had been done in other communities. In February 2015, a literature review was conducted to determine best practices for a gleaning initiative here in Chatham-Kent. Following this report, we conducted a pilot project over the summer and fall and were successful at bringing leftover produce to local service agencies in the community. We are now ready to expand the program to include more local agencies and more local farmers, and would like to invite you to participate in the Chatham-Kent Gleaning Project.
Here is some information to help you become familiar with the project:
Equipping people to rescue surplus produce from fields and gardens.
Connecting food producers who have surplus produce with neighbours and community food programs through relationship building, experiential learning and volunteer engagement.
- Building Partnerships
- Our goal is to develop partnerships that connect local farmers and community food programs
- Facilitating Food Redistribution
- We harvest excess produce and share with local community food programs
- Local agencies receive gleaned produce free of charge for use in food banks, soup kitchens, and food skill programs.
- Helping Our Volunteers
- We aim to identify, recruit and provide comprehensive training and supports to individuals wishing to participate in experiential learning opportunities
- Those who help harvest the produce will also receive a portion of the food to take home and share with their families
- Developing Resources – creation of tools and resources to support the gleaning program.
- Evaluating– ongoing program evaluation and improvement for continued success.
We are recruiting local agencies to receive the excess produce. For more information for agencies, see below:
We are also recruiting local producers who would partner with us to glean their fields or pick up produce. For more information for producers see below:
For more information or if you are interested in being a part of this project either as a volunteer or as a potential location, please contact Lyndsay Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 519-352-7270 ext. 2478.