Society of St. Andrew, the nation’s largest gleaner of fresh produce, is passionate about the elimination of food waste and hunger in the United States. Farm produce may be put aside because it is unmarketable – it might be cracked, split, bruised, or too ripe – and it can’t be sold. But unmarketable produce is still a source of nutrition for someone who is hungry and not getting enough to eat.
The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects growers if donated produce harms a recipient, except in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the grower. All gleaners are required to sign a liability waiver form prior to gleaning.
Growers can receive a federal tax deduction for gleaned and donated crops, as provided by law. At the beginning of the year, the Society of St. Andrew will send a letter with the date, type and amount of donated produce from the previous year.
What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is an ancient tradition mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. Gleaners were allowed into fields and orchards to pick fruits and vegetables after the grower’s harvest. Society of St. Andrew wants the food you can’t sell…the food in your field that you won’t harvest. If you are about to say, “It is a shame this food has to go to waste,” please call our Alabama office at 205-245-3214 it won’t be wasted.
Supervision of Gleanings:
SoSA provides a trained field supervisor in the field for gleaning. Field supervisors receive instruction from growers concerning where, what and how to pick; convey this information to the gleaners; and make sure that your land and directions are respected. They also ensure the area is cleaned before leaving. The farmer does not need to be present for gleaning.
Who are Gleaners?
Gleaners may be your neighbors…they can be people of all ages, rich and poor, who want to give of their time to help others in your area who are in need. We build our network with individuals, faith groups, scout troops, clubs, schools, senior citizen groups, etc.
Where Does the Food Go?
Produce is donated as close to your farm as possible. Society of St. Andrew works with agencies of all sizes that are already in place in your communities. Food is donated to food pantries, food banks, low-income and elderly housing complexes, social service agencies, group homes, homeless shelters, rehab facilities, and more. Any size food donation can be used. Conceivably, food gleaned in the morning will be on someone’s plate that evening.
Who Runs the Program?
The Society of St. Andrew is a national non-profit hunger relief organization based in Virginia. The Gleaning Network began in 1988. The Alabama office was opened in January, 2005. The Gleaning Network continues to expand as more growers catch a vision of a world without hunger and more gleaners work to make this vision a reality.