Knox County Food Council presents Knox County Gleaners

KNOX – The Knox County Food Council (KCFC) is hosting a presentation by the Knox County Gleaners at the next KCFC monthly meeting, on September 13, 2022, at 5 pm. This virtual Zoom event is open to everyone and free of charge.

Wikipedia tells us that “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.” It is a critical step in responding to food insecurity: gleaning activities both help to reduce food waste at the farming production level, by harvesting food that would have otherwise been left, and to more equitably distribute food throughout the food system. Gleaners often either directly distribute the harvested crops to people who are food insecure or work with an organization or organizations which has the resources to assist with the distribution of those crops.

During a 2020 presentation, Aldermere Farm Maine Coast Heritage Trust Outreach and Office Manager Joelle Albury said, “In 2019, Knox County Gleaners began volunteering on a weekly basis during the growing season and they’ve been a huge help ever since. When the pandemic hit, they provided PPE and a returning group of trained volunteers.”

For reference, the average American eats about 415 pounds of vegetables per year!

The KC Gleaners began as a partnership between coordinators Lorain Francis and Nancy Wood in 2019. At the time, Francis served as Program Director for Penquis CAP, a Community Action Program agency formed to alleviate and eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty, and Wood is a SNAP ED Nutrition Educator for Knox County, who works with people in our county and teaches how to shop, cook and eat more nutritiously on a budget.

KC Gleaners were initially supported with a generous grant from Harvard Pilgrim to Penquis CAP; since that time, the Gleaners’ home has moved to Come Spring Food Pantry in Union, where Francis and Wood are growing the group’s presence and their home.

For more information about Come Spring Food Pantry, please visit https://comespringfp.org/. To register for this event and receive the Zoom link for the upcoming meeting, please visit aldermere.org/kcfc-meeting-registration. For more information or with any questions about the meeting itself, please contact Aldermere Farms’ Joelle Albury, who is also a Knox County Food Council Steering Committee member, at .

Knox County Food Council is a community-based coalition that formed in 2019 to promote a more resilient food system in Knox County, Maine. For more information about KCFC, visit aldermere.org/kcfc.