Feeding the Hungry with Food from SoSA
Information for FoodBanks, Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens, and Churches
What Sets Us Apart …
SoSA is the nation’s largest gleaner of fresh produce.
We salvage produce at the farm and packing-house level that cannot be sold due to market constraints.
We supply fresh vegetables and fruit that helps to improve the health and well-being of society’s most vulnerable.
We have no handling fees – there is no cost to the agencies for the food we provide, helping to stretch tight budgets.
The environment benefits; the food we salvage by the tractor-trailer load does not end up in landfills, but on the plates of the hungry.
Who Receives our Food?
The produce we collected by our volunteer gleaners, and the food received as donations from growers and packing houses, goes to food pantries, food banks, low-income and elderly housing complexes, social service agencies, group homes, homeless shelters, rehab facilities, and more. Within 24-48 hours of picking, you can distribute the produce to hungry people in your community.
What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is an ancient tradition mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. Gleaners are allowed into fields and orchards to pick fruits and vegetables after the grower’s harvest. One quarter of all food produced for human consumption is lost annually in the United States – enough to feed about 50 million people Since it might be unmarketable or not worth picking for market reasons, produce is sometimes plowed under or left to rot, though it is perfectly edible and nutritious.
At the Society of St. Andrew, we work with farmers who allow gleaners to pick what is left. The Society of St. Andrew also salvages fruits and vegetables that have already been picked and cannot be sold for various reasons.
Who are Gleaners?
They are people of all ages, rich and poor, who want to give of their time. We connect individuals, faith groups, scout troops, clubs, schools and senior citizen groups with growers.
Who Runs This Program?
The Society of St. Andrew, a hunger relief organization based in Virginia, began the Gleaning Network in 1988. Since then, we have collected and distributed hundreds of millions of pounds of fresh food.
The Basics of Receiving Surplus and Leftover Crops from SoSA:
- Contact the Society of St. Andrew. Click on your state (at right) for contact information. Tell us that your agency is interested in receiving food.
- Our volunteers pick up or harvest produce from farms, orchards, and farmers markets.
- Growers and packers donate entire truckloads of food that is surplus or rejected for cosmetic reasons.
- We deliver the food to food banks, churches, pantries, and other agencies. There is no cost to the agency receiving the food.
- You have fresh fruits and vegetables to add to your program.
- Hungry people get fresh, nutritious food, thanks to your generosity.
- We’ve been doing this more than 30 years – currently 25-30 million pounds a year – it works!
Contact our Regional Director or Program Coordinator
to learn more about receiving fresh fruits and vegetables for your feeding agency:
At Bishop Sullivan - St. James, place, we received a good amount of food from SOSA, one day in the fall we received some Kale. A few days later, that client came back in with tears in her eyes and said, "Those greens were soo good and so fresh, I hadn't had those in years, thank you and God bless those who donated this!" Thanks for all you are doing to get fresh produce to those who need it!–Doug Langner, St. James Place, 12/12/2012
Our agency operates a food pantry that provides food to over 20,000 individuals a year. Fresh produce is something that we never have access to and is so vital to the health of our clients. Our partnership with the Society of St. Andrew has enabled us to distribute thousands of pounds of useful produce to our clients. We have distributed potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, melons, and green beans that would otherwise have been wasted. They are extremely vigilant in founding and transporting these items to us at no cost.–Barb Simmons, 12/12/11
What a great organization to work with! We are so grateful for the connection between farmer and family! The families we serve we so thankful for the beautiful potatoes and the pumpkins that we were blessed with! The representative, Linda came and met us, observed our community outreach and interacted with our volunteers. We were impressed by how professional yet compassionate they are! Great nonprofit to be working with.–- Mannahouse 12/9/11