Green News

Help Reduce Food Waste and Hunger in Our Community

In last month’s issue of The Bridge, the Green News focus was on food waste and how to eliminate it at home. This month, we will focus on eliminating food waste in our community and feeding the hungry. One in six Kentuckians don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Yet 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted.

Glean Kentucky is a non-profit organization that provides volunteer opportunities to glean excess fruits and vegetables. Serving as the vital link between food waste and food insecurity, gleaners gather up fresh produce from a source (grocery store, farm, etc.) and immediately deliver it to a recipient site (food pantry, hunger agency, neighborhood ambassador, etc.) where it can be distributed to those in need.

Franklin County is one of several central Kentucky counties that participate in Glean Kentucky. Volunteers can glean and distribute food in three ways:

· Pick up produce at the Farmers Market on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Weigh, deliver to recipient site, and record on the Glean Kentucky website, gleanky.org.

· Join a Rapid Response Team to receive text message alerts about on-call gleaning opportunities. This may include gleaning a field or orchard with produce that is about to go to waste.

· Grow a Row to donate. If you are a gardener, plant an extra row for a soup kitchen or other recipient.

To volunteer, visit gleanky.org, complete an application, watch a training video, and choose your volunteer option. You will receive a bright green Glean Kentucky t-shirt. Contact Annette Hayden (502-330-9174) for more information.

Please consider donating a couple of hours of your time to help the hungry in our community. Bring the kids or grandkids along, and make it a family service project. Your soul will be fed!