2024 AGO Symposium – Recap

21 Jun 2024, by Admin in Gleaning, Washington state, Harvest Against Hunger

Sarah Armbruster is an AmeriCorps member serving at AGO & HAH as the Washington State Gleaning Network Development VISTA in Seattle, Washington. Her service is focused on increasing accessibility to fresh local produce to low-income families in Washington state by increasing the capacity of organizations to glean more produce while also reducing food loss through the creation of a regional gleaning network.

AGO’s 2024 Gleaning Symposium was an awesome event! Gleaners throughout the country gathered in Seattle, Washington with gleaners from around the country who presented and shared their ideas on how to organize and improve gleaning programs, empowering us all to strengthen our communities while reducing food waste. 

This conference is part of a larger effort of the Association of Gleaning Organizations to grow the gleaning movement to improve and increase the nutritional value of food accessible to our most vulnerable community members. We know we are strongest when we work together and share knowledge and resources freely. Together, we are striving to build a movement that understands the importance of not just the calories provided, but the abundance of benefits that come with access to nutritious food. 

 The event this year was hosted by Harvest Against Hunger in conjunction with the newly developing Washington State Gleaning Network.  Stretching over three days, the 85 attendees attended 25 workshops and events, with two key themes for gleaners – building your skills and building your network. For folks involved with the Washington Gleaning Network, this included a special in-person meeting on Wednesday, May 1st. 

We came back together in our monthly meeting in June (over Zoom) to recap our experiences of this event. This was an excellent opportunity to bring us back together and share our experiences at the AGO 2024 Gleaning Symposium, as well as share with folks who were unable to attend. Some topics covered included what was fun, and inspiring, and what we learned. We talked about volunteer incentives, a holistic perspective on gleaners, and mapping food availability throughout the state and were inspired to think on how we might get together a few times a year, in person, to continue having these enriching experiences.

Some of the inspiring presentations from the Symposium mentioned were:

Click here for more recordings, documents and photos from this Symposium event.