Mississippi & Arkansas Farmers, Packers, and Farmers Markets
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. One quarter of all food produced for human consumption is lost annually in the United States – enough to feed 49 million people Since it might be unmarketable or not worth picking, 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.
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?
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.
Where Does the Food Go?
Produce is donated to places like 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, the produce is distributed free of charge to hungry people in your community.
Who Runs This Program?
The Society of St. Andrew, a hunger relief organization based in Virginia, began the Gleaning Network in 1988. In 1992, a regional office in North Carolina opened, and we expanded our gleaning efforts to South Carolina in 1996. The Gleaning Network continues to expand into new areas as more growers catch a vision of a world without hunger and more gleaners work to make this vision a reality.