Waste not, want not

A group of volunteers at Nash’s Organic Produce glean produce mid-December to donate to local organizations. In the back row are Suki Chan, Eftin Strong, Lee Bowen, Hilary Jones, Aidan Jones, Fumi Shirasayo-Cahill, Joella Cary and Rachel Loucks. Front row: Abby Jones, Faith Jones, Madalyn Loucks and Brielle Loucks. - Submitted photo

A group of volunteers at Nash’s Organic Produce glean produce mid-December to donate to local organizations. In the back row are Suki Chan, Eftin Strong, Lee Bowen, Hilary Jones, Aidan Jones, Fumi Shirasayo-Cahill, Joella Cary and Rachel Loucks. Front row: Abby Jones, Faith Jones, Madalyn Loucks and Brielle Loucks.

— Image Credit: Submitted Photo

A group of devoted individuals, known as gleaners, sort or “glean” produce from surrounding farms to disperse among local organizations.

For seven years volunteers annually have gleaned thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables that otherwise wouldn’t end up on someone’s plate.

Gleaners take from the portions of crops deemed unsuitable for sale because of some defect in appearance and “would otherwise go to our animals,” Patty McManus-Huber, promotions coordinator for Nash’s Organic Produce, said. “But we grew it intending for people to eat it.”

However because of the time and costs associated with both gleaning and distributing crop leftovers, McManus-Huber said, they can’t afford do themselves.

“They (gleaners) connect the food to the families that need it,” she said.

Although the gleaned produce that goes to the food banks in Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks, the Salvation Army, Sunrise Senior Home, various churches and the Peninsula Behavioral Health Center, are needed and appreciated year-round, the holidays tend to be a heightened time of need.

Mark Ozias, Sequim Food Bank director, said he was “delighted” to receive a bin of organic carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce just before Thanksgiving.

“They were gone in no time,” Ozias said.

Read more here: http://www.sequimgazette.com/news/287822241.html