Making Sure No Fruit (or Vegetable) is Left Behind
Hidden Harvest efforts glean food for the hungry from leftovers in orchards, farm fields, even backyard gardens and city-owned trees.
Have a fruit tree in your backyard that produces more than you can use? How 'bout a backyard garden with so many zucchini you can't bear to make another loaf of bread? You could donate it (the fruit and veggies, not your tree or your garden!) to a Pittsburgh-based effort called Hidden Harvest.
Hidden Harvest is a program of the group 412 Food Rescue . Sparkt's Kelly Arbogast recently went on one of their "food rescues" where volunteers pick up leftover food from businesses and transport it to community groups where it's needed:
Just give the volunteers from Hidden Harvest access to your trees and they'll harvest the fruit and (big bonus!) clean up the area around your trees. The produce will be put to good use and protect the health of your tree. You can also donate leftover vegetables that haven't been affected yet by the recent colder temperatures.
Volunteers from Fed Ex glean apples from an orchard.
412 Food Rescue also partners with farms that serve the Pittsburgh region to glean surplus produce still in their fields and orchards that would otherwise go to waste. They've even been known to harvest fruit from urban trees in parking lots and along streets!
Don't live in Pittsburgh? We found similar food gleaning groups in other cities where you can volunteer or donate:
- Hidden Harvest of Saginaw, MI (serves people in the Bay, Midland and Saginaw Michigan region)
- Hidden Harvest of Coachella, CA (employs low income farm workers to "rescue" produce that is left behind in California's fields and orchards after harvest)
- Hidden Harvest of Ottawa, ONT (harvests from the city's 42,000+ fruit and nut trees and plants more trees)
If your community doesn't have a hidden-harvest style rescue, why not get some friends together and start one? It's a great way to #StartSomethingGood!
(Images: Hidden Harvest Pittsburgh Facebook page )