What is Gleaning?
In 2014, over 750,000 Kentucky residents were classified as food-insecure. With a population of more than 4 million, this means that 1 in 6 people were struggling to get enough food to eat. And in 2010, over 10,000 residents in Central KY lived in areas designated as “food deserts” by the USDA. At the same time, 40% of food produced in US never consumed and ends up in landfills.
According to the Old Testament, farmers left the corners of their fields and vineyards unharvested, for orphans, widows and travelers to pick food to feed themselves and their families. This practice was known as gleaning.
In modern times, gleaning is still about feeding the hungry. But also infuses the concept of preventing would-be food waste. So unsold or unsellable food is picked up from farmers markets or grocery stores or remnants of unharvested crops are gathered from farms then given to people in need.
So for our show on June 9th, Ben & I wanted to delve deeper into the important work that GleanKY does in our community to connect people who are in need with fresh, healthy food AND curb food waste. And to explore this through the lens of a specific partnership.
Listen to our Podcast!
Lucky's Market opened in Lexington around February, 2016. And from the outset, Lucky's has been a steady and reliable gleaning source for GleanKY. So we were happy to welcome Jonathan Henderson is Produce Manager at Lucky’s Market to the studio of Lexington Community Radio. With Ben Southworth, Development Coordinator for GleanKY -- serving a dual role of guest & co-host of Lexington Food Justice Radio -- we learn more about how GleanKY operates.
Here's a Recap:
- Partial quote from Lucky's Market Anthem that I read during the show:
We believe good food shouldn’t be a luxury. It should be a right. . . . Natural and organic food shouldn’t be priced out of your reach. We also have this crazy notion that we shouldn’t adopt a holier-than-thou attitude if your grandma’s recipe calls for something that doesn’t fit some people’s idea of what’s good for you. So we created a store . . . that does serious work, without taking itself too seriously. A store dedicated to good food. And making sure that everyone can enjoy it.
- Or read the full text here → Lucky's Anthem.
- Lucky’s provides gleaned food 7 days/week! Donating over 100,000 lbs of produce to GleanKY in 2016. And on pace to match this amount with about 40,000 lbs thus far this year.
- Lucky's embodies this Anthem through its Community Projects that focus on 4 areas:
- Healthy Communities: Nourishing the community, both inside & out.
- Youth & Education: Aimed at giving kids a healthier, happier future.
- Resilience: Supporting belief that everyone has a difference to make.
- Sustainability: Keeping planet healthy, on project at a time. Notably, working to foster support for local farms & producers by promoting the sale of their products and providing insight into food system development.
- Lucky's offers several In-Store Programs:
- Bags for Change: Lexington Community Radio, Community Action Council and Chrysalis House are the current designated non-profits for this program
- Impact Days: GleanKY, Seedleaf, and Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition were previous recipients of this program. With Tweens receiving over $2,300 during their Impact Days.
- 10% For Good
- Gift Card Fundraising Program
- Products Donations
- Volunteer Support
- To apply for any of these Programs or a donation → Lucky's Market Online Application.
- Learn more about Lucky's Market of Lexington and the impact of its ethos that "Good Food is a Right, not a Privilege!" on our community through its Facebook Page and website!
- Learn more about GleanKY → Mission and Strategy.
- GleanKY was an all-volunteer effort from 2010 through 2014. And Glean still relies heavily on its volunteers. If you are interested (and I hope you are), here's a link → Volunteer for GleanKY.
- If you have produce to donate, here's a link → Donate Produce or Plant it Forward.
- There are several ways to be a recipient of gleaned produce, here's a link → Receive Produce.
- Lots of fantastic information about GleanKY in their Annual Reports.
- Thanks to GleanKY and all of their volunteers, gleaning sites, monetary donors, and recipients for making such a positive impact in our community!!
- Join GleanKY at its annual fundraiser -- "Burgers & Beats" on Sunday, July 16th, 5-8 pm at Wallace Station, Versailles, KY.
Up Next (June 23rd)
Thanks again to Jonathan Henderson, Produce Manager at Lucky's Market, and Ben Southworth of GleanKY!
And please tune in to our next show on June 23rd, 10 - 11 am, 93.9 FM WLXU Lexington Community Radio. Our guest will be Daniel Pike from Pike Valley Farm in Lancaster, KY. This is a Certified Organic pasture farm -- raising cattle, chicken & pigs. Daniel will talk to us about their farming protocols and help us understanding the concept of eating and supporting properly-raised meat!