Feeding Our Souls: Memories and Mayo

By Jean Blish Siers *

tomatoesA new gleaner joined our ranks this year, a delightful senior citizen named Gloria who heard about us from a friend and came to a strawberry gleaning early in the season. She’s been out almost once a week since, driving to far-flung fields in places she’s never been before.

On Saturday we were in Rowan County, about an hour north of Charlotte, where both Gloria and I live. She got ...

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Two Stark Conversations

By Jean Blish Siers *

Map of 10 hungriest states in the nation.Two conversations on Monday left me deeply troubled by our country’s priorities. First, a woman from Communities in Schools called. She serves one of the largest (and more affluent) high schools in Charlotte. But CIS works with those students who have fallen in some way through the social safety net. She had a student with diabetes and other chronic health issues. The ...

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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 the ...

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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 a ...

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Lucky Number 13?

By Jean Blish Siers *
Lucky 13For the past year, I’ve been trying to learn Italian (because it’s a beautiful language and I love the food and the people, and I think and hope it will keep my brain young!) It’s slow going, but every now and then I actually understand a phrase or two in a movie or conversation. I call it progress and keep plugging along.

Learning another language involves learning more ...

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Food Takes a Bite Out of Crime in a Depressed Community

By Michael Binger *

Hunger has many side-effects in a community, including loss of hope, depression, desperation, and crime. In working with local feeding agencies, the Society of St. Andrew seeks to address all these concerns.

East Greensboro, North Carolina is a community where more than one-fourth of the households experience hunger sometime during the year. The week before Christmas, a potato distributor donated several truckloads of white and russet potatoes – as long as they could be distributed before the holiday. ...

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