Did you know you can volunteer to harvest apples for the Food Bank, helping both local farmers and people struggling with food insecurity?
Farmers often find themselves with surplus or unmarketable produce, so we send volunteers to local farms to glean this produce for families in need. The Food Bank partners with Stoney Ridge Orchard in Erin and Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen to glean apples as harvest season draws to a close.
Forrest Meekins, a regular volunteer at the Food Bank, gleaned with her daughter last year at Stoney Ridge.
“I liked the idea that local farmers were offering fresh produce for the Food Bank to be able to distribute to their clients. Fresh produce can be expensive and if their food budget is limited, people may not be able to include as much fresh food in their diets as they would like,” Forrest says. “After less than two hours of picking, we had filled quite a few boxes with apples that might have otherwise been left unharvested.”
About seven percent of produce grown gets stuck on the farm and never makes it to market, according to the Resources Defense Council. This occurs due to poor market prices, meaning harvesting the produce is more costly than selling it. Sometimes, farmers can’t find enough workers to pick the produce.
Want to help glean this fall? Gleaning usually occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at one of our partner orchards from mid-September through October. Stay tuned on our social media and e-news for details and schedule!