May 21, 2014

Fighting Food Waste—with Gleaning and Facebook

Kathryn Rees

Kathryn Rees

Guest Blogger

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

2014-turnipThis is the third post in a series about food waste.

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, 16,872 pounds of food have been wasted in the U.S. A large portion of food grown in America is wasted every year because it is too expensive for farmers to harvest their excess yield.

In an activity known as “gleaning,” community members harvest excess produce. And the harvesters get to keep the food at no cost. Organizations like Gather Baltimore use Facebook to publicize their gleaning events—in doing so, they reduce food waste and feed community members.

Gather Baltimore organizes gleaning events and redistributes the gathered produce to local non-profits in Baltimore, such as the Franciscan Center, which provides meals for the homeless. Gather Baltimore also sets up farm stands in communities with low access to healthy foods and supermarkets.

The organization feeds hundreds of families each week and gleans more than 200,000 pounds of produce annually. With the click of a button, you, too, can be a part of this amazing effort to reduce food waste.

With the summer gleaning season coming up, now is the perfect time to get involved with a gleaning organization in your community. Gleaning events don’t require a big commitment and are open to everyone. Outside of Baltimore, check out organizations like the Society of St. Andrew and CropMobster, which are also using social media to redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste.

The Really Radical R: Reduce – by Christine Grillo
Can Composting Become Default Behavior? – by Ruthie Burrows
Are You a Member of the Clean Plate Club – by Patti Truant
Fighting Food Waste—with Gleaning and Facebook – by Kathryn Rees

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