Volunteers Collect Leftover Apples from Morris Orchard for Those in Need

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by Sherese Gore, New Era Progress, Amherst, Va.

Instead of allowing produce to go to waste, one area orchard is donating its leftover fruit to the needy.

Volunteers, coordinated by the Big Island-based Society of St. Andrew, have collected leftover apples from Morris Orchard in Monroe over the last few weeks.

The Society of St. Andrew salvages and distributes about 30 million pounds of food a year to feeding agencies nationwide.

Group Bagging Apples

Volunteers hand-sort apples to be donated at Morris Orchard’s cold storage room last Saturday. (Photo by Lee Luther, Jr.)

Morris Orchard donates to the Society because of its system of distributing food to those who need it, said co-owner Judy Barnes.

“The main thing is for the fruit to go to people who otherwise wouldn’t have any,” Barnes said.

Located in Monroe, the orchard sells several varieties of fruit including apples, peaches and berries as well as cider and some vegetables. Its apple season ends when the orchard runs out of fruit, usually in the middle of January, Barnes said.

The Society of St. Andrew primarily recovers produce that farmers “do not have a market to sell” such as ugly or misshapen food, said Marian Kelly, the society’s co-founder.

“The produce may not be up to Walmart standards or Food Lion standards or grocery store standards but they’re still quite edible and nutritious,” Kelly said.

Locally, agencies that benefit from the Society may include the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, The Salvation Army or church pantries.

“Anybody that’s feeding hungry people,” Kelly said.

Under regional gleaning coordinator Sarah Ramey, volunteers have bagged apples that currently are sitting in cold storage at Morris Orchard. Volunteers past and present have included local churches and area chapters of the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Barnes said.

“Again, this is produce that could not be sold for [whatever] reason, but I tell you, if you saw those apples that he’s given us at Morris Orchard, they’re fantastic,” Kelly said. “You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from what you pick up at Food Lion.”

Contact Sherese Gore at (434) 385-3357 or sgore@newsadvance.com.


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In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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