Gleaning in Florida

 Gleaning Image

In 2021, through March, our Florida region has gleaned 5,007,794 pounds of fresh produce in 204 events, with 1,167 volunteers.

Food donated by 36 farmers has been distributed to hungry people through 89 feeding agencies.

Since 1995, the Society of St. Andrew has operated a statewide, volunteer-driven Gleaning Network in Florida that coordinates with local farmers, thousands of volunteers, and food providing agencies. Our Florida Gleaning Network is going strong, saving three-to-four million pounds of fresh produce for the hungry each year. Though an agriculturally diverse state, citrus is by far our top yielding produce in Florida; with now four citrus drives per year, Florida gleaners save and distribute over a half million pounds of sweet oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons every year. In addition to citrus, the Florida office salvages everything from onions and white potatoes to strawberries, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, and that ever so famous Zellwood sweet corn.

Through the Florida Gleaning Network, we coordinate volunteers across the state who actually enter fields and groves after farmers have finished harvesting and simply pick up the tons of good produce left behind. Our volunteers represent groups from various church denominations, synagogues, youth groups, corporate and civic organizations, individuals, and inner city residents. Often those who receive the food participate in our gleaning events, this is especially true in North Florida where many of the food pantries bring their clients to the fields with them to help glean for others as well as themselves.

Each year, we coordinate thousands of volunteers to glean one to two million pounds of a wide variety of produce in Florida. Please join us in this exciting hands-on ministry.

Please contact us to indicate your interest in gleaning. When we have opportunities within 30-45 minutes of your location, we will email you with details and invite you to join us in the fields. Most gleaning events take place on weekends where gleaners arrive in the fields around 8am and are on their way home by noon. Society of St. Andrew makes all arrangements with farmers, produce containers and food distribution. All that volunteer gleaners need to do is show up. Volunteer groups are encouraged to take food back to agencies or programs that they support in their local area.

People of all ages can glean. Gleaners should be able to bend over and should be able to bend and lift several pounds of produce.

It is important that the contact person be reachable by phone during day-time hours.

Most of our gleanings are in the morning and last three to four hours. Gleanings are scheduled week days and on Saturdays.

Recent Florida Facebook Feeds

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Florida Food Waste Prevention Week
Day 3 Prevention in the Commercial Sector
With Duke Lane, Ccmmercial Grower with Genuine Georgia. Duke is hosting a produce booth at the Southeast Produce Council Expo in Orlando this week and will donate his show produce to SoSA. Regarding food waste in the commercial sector, Duke says “As farmers we all have it, but rather than looking at it as a bad thing, we see it as an opportunity. For instance if we have good food that we just cannot sell for whatever reason, we call SoSA and they distribute it to hungry people, it makes us very happy to not waste it”
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