After watching a Simon Reeves television programme highlighting food poverty, Holly Whitelaw established the Cornwall Gleaning Network.
What exactly is gleaning? It’s a system in which volunteers connect with local farmers to harvest surplus fruits and vegetables that would not be sold or eaten for various reasons, and then redistribute those surplus fruits and veg to local community projects and organisations.
Foodbanks are struggling for food currently and always have difficulty getting fresh produce. Gleaning not only helps with this need but also the need to reduce food waste in the fields and packing sheds.
This waste is no fault of the farmers; they have to ensure they have enough produce to keep buyers happy, even if there is a poor harvest. This year was great for potatoes and so there are currently loads of oversized potatoes, which are the wrong colour for chips, too floury for bakers and too large for crisps. They are great for mash and roasting and over 40 food banks, Meals on Wheels groups, community kitchens and community larders have been very grateful for them!
Cornwall’s gleaning network needs more produce like this and would be grateful for any suitable farm, grower, land agent or estate contacts you can kindly offer. They are also looking for van and lorry drivers who do regular routes between towns with empty or half empty storage space, that for a few extra pounds, would be able to help deliver the food.
Please kindly have a think and, if you can help or know of any connections who could help, contact Holly and her team through firstname.lastname@example.org.