Have you ever noticed the abundance of fruit falling to the ground from the trees in your neighborhood? Or the rows and rows of excess produce lining the fields of our county then being tilled under with ripe vegetables still on the ground? Seeing this waste and knowing that 40,000 people in San Luis Obispo county do not have access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables prompted the creation of GleanSLO over a year ago.
Multiple groups passionate about gleaning joined together with a common mission of creating a community culture that utilizes healthy, locally grown food to sustain the needs for all people in San Luis Obispo County. These groups include Central Coast Ag Network, Cal Poly’s STRIDE center, the Food Bank Coalition, One Cool Earth, SLO Grown Kids, SUSTAIN, Transition Towns.
GleanSLO is a new program under the umbrella of the Food Bank. This program unites farm workers, health advocates, food providers, backyard gardeners and community volunteers together to harvest and donate produce gleanings into San Luis Obispo County’s food system. Last year, GleanSLO was able to harvest over 22,000 pounds of produce which otherwise would have been left in the trees and fields of our county. GleanSLO volunteers have traveled throughout the county to harvest delicious, local produce for those in need, from apples and oranges to tomatoes and artichokes,. Since the end of August 2011, GleanSLO has already picked and donated over 10,000 pounds of apples, tomatoes, and pears to be distributed through the Food Banks network of 200 agency partners.munity culture that utilizes healthy, locally grown food to sustain the needs for all people in San Luis Obispo County. These groups include Central Coast Ag Network, Cal Poly’s STRIDE center, the Food Bank Coalition, One Cool Earth, SLO Grown Kids, SUSTAIN, Transition Towns.
This past summer, GleanSLO was awarded the United Way Innovation Award under the premise that “GleanSLO is not just a program; it’s a movement to purposefully reengage SLO County residents in farming, healthy eating, and providing nutritious food for those in need.”