Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Our REAL Leaders spent the morning of Friday, February 10th, in the field, picking over 2,500 lbs. of tomatoes that will distributed to a local soup kitchen.
CROS Ministries utilizes volunteers to recover fresh fruits and vegetables from mango groves, farmers’ fields, cull lines, and donors’ backyards. This food recovery strategy allows the harvested produce to be distributed free of charge through the Palm Beach County Food Bank to their food partners. The Department of Children and Families estimates that 54 million pounds of produce go to waste every year. The Palm Beach County Food Bank has also calculated that 32 million pounds of food are needed to ensure that no one goes hungry in our community. Feeding America reports that 15% of Palm Beach County residents are “food insecure” which means that 200,000 people do not know where their next meal will come from. According to the most recent census data, one in four children in Palm Beach County lives below the poverty line and 61% of elementary-age children attending Palm Beach County public schools are on the free and reduced cost lunch program.
A field supervisor gave the group a quick orientation and directed us to the proper area in the Boynton Beach field. After being picked, the produce is placed into boxes that are loaded into a pick-up for transport to a truck that will take the produce to the Food Bank. CLICK HERE for more details on how you can help.