North Carolina & South Carolina Farmers, Packers, and Farmers Markets
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects growers from civil and criminal liability 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.
House Bill 1335 passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1991 says growers permitting gleaning are exempt from civil liability. All gleaners are required to sign a liability waiver from 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 can 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.
Almost 100 million pounds of all food produced for human consumption is lost annually in North Carolina, yet around 1.8 million of our citizens don’t always know where they will find their next meal.
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, the Society of St. Andrew opened a North Carolina office to expand gleaning throughout the state. 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.