These Boots (and Hands) Are Made for Gleaning!

By Jean Blish Siers *

The best remedy I know for dealing with the news these days is getting away from my iPad and into a field. At a time when America and the world feels increasingly divided, unable, or unwilling to understand the feelings, needs, thoughts, or dreams of our neighbors, working together to benefit someone else has a surprisingly calming affect.

Last week, we gleaned grapes at Pastor Larry’s Prayer Vineyard. Pastor Larry serves a large church in the suburban ...

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The Not-So-Golden Years

By Jean Blish Siers *

Positive reports have been released lately indicating that while food insecurity in the United States remains higher than it was before the Great Recession began in 2008, it has declined slowly but steadily since 2011. Along with this bit of good news, there is troubling note: The number of food insecure seniors is not only higher than the average for other groups, it has not declined.

According to the U.S. Census, the numbers of seniors facing food ...

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Taste and See

By Jean Blish Siers *

Girls eating tomatoesWhen we glean, people will often ask – a little shyly — if it’s okay to eat something in the field: sample a ripe, red tomato, or grab a bite of a watermelon that broke trying to get it in the truck. I always tell them yes, and so do the farmers.

Our good farmer friend, Charlie Barbee, who this time of year takes groups of us into ...

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Catching the Gleaning Spirit

By Jean Blish Siers *

Boys with melonsTeenagers threw watermelons at me this week. Really big watermelons. And if I’m honest, and I try to be, sometimes it really hurt. But I didn’t mind. Why? Because we were gleaning at a local farm and were able to send those watermelons off to agencies in four counties. We loaded trucks; we loaded cars; we loaded SUVs. And while we broke a few, we would take ...

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A Big Goal: Hitting Zero!

By Jean Blish Siers *
zero-point-zeroNonprofits such as Society of St. Andrew measure success differently from the rest of the world. We live in a world where profits and clicks and “likes” drive everything from advertising to hiring to salaries. But that’s not the way our ministry works.

The other day, I was chatting with Keith, the head of an agency that receives produce from us. It’s that time of year when I’m checking in, ...

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Hungry for More Than Knowledge

By Jean Blish Siers *

Many years ago, when our son was in middle school, his personality changed suddenly in a way that felt different from the usual teenage angst and misery. He became sullen and silent. An excellent student, he wasn’t keeping track of schoolwork. One day, I rifled through his backpack. I feared, of course, drugs. Instead, I found two or three of his lunches that I had lovingly packed each morning. They were squashed, unopened, and uneaten, in ...

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