Ozarks Food Harvest’s Glean Team kicks-off third garden season
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest’s Glean Team began its third season today with volunteers preparing garden beds for crops at local community gardens.
Last season, volunteers gave over 1,400 hours planting and harvesting at area gardens and farms to provide nearly 23,000 pounds of fresh produce to children, families and seniors in need right here in the Ozarks.
Tomorrow volunteers will be at the Glean Team’s home base, Ozarks Natural Foods in Rogersville, to plant the first leafy greens and root vegetables of the season.
“The Glean Team, part of our Full Circle Gardens program, is a step toward solving food insecurity by connecting volunteers with food production and improving access to healthy, fresh produce across our agency network and in Springfield neighborhoods,” said Christy Claybaker, Community Engagement Coordinator for Ozarks Food Harvest.
“The program encourages collaboration between many garden groups, reduces food waste and provides opportunities for volunteers of any age to get involved.”
Ozarks Food Harvest partners with Springfield garden groups to grow produce and with area farmers to help glean surplus produce. During abundant production seasons, thousands of pounds of produce is at risk of going to waste when there aren’t enough people to harvest. The Glean Team helps solve this problem by being available for emergency gleans when there is extra produce farmers are willing to donate, or inclement weather that could destroy produce.
In 2016, the Full Circle Gardens program is on track to expand its growing season by another 5,000 pounds, or more.
Members of the community can make this growth possible by volunteering with Ozarks Food Harvest in local gardens.
Regular volunteer sessions are available five times per week and emergency glean sessions are scheduled as needed.
Join the Glean Team by filling out the Ozarks Food Harvest’s volunteer application and indicate gardening as a skill. Register with a group or as an individual at ozarksfoodharvest.org/volunteer.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 14 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.