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Field Gleaning Checklist – SoSA Georgia

13 Mar 2020, by Admin in General/ Logistics
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Field Gleaning Checklist

Some gleanings will have more lead time than others. In some cases, you may only have a day or two notice. It is always best to prepare as far in advance as possible, but be flexible when a gleaning is short notice. 

B.   Gleaning Etiquette and Safety

• Every gleaner must fill out the liability waiver. All gleaners under 18 must have the waiver signed by their parents.When gleaning, remember you are on another person’s land. Treat it better than you would treat your own property. We are guests; don’t abuse the privilege or we may lose it.

• Safety is of utmost importance in gleaning. If any activity is of questionable safety, do not do it. Be sure to avoid climbing trees or fences, riding on the back of trucks or working near farm machinery. 

• Don’t allow gleaners to eat anything in the field that you are not sure is edible. 

• Glean and park only in those areas designated by the farmer.

• Children and youth must be closely supervised by parents and other responsible adults.

• In the field, you (or the field supervisor at the gleaning) are the boss. You can cancel a gleaning at any time if you feel these rules are not being followed.

• Check the area where your group has gleaned. Make sure you leave nothing behind.

B.   2+ Weeks Before the Event

• Contact Farmers to see who might have produce to glean: This still might be too far out for them to tell you much, but it’s always good to check.

• Schedule Volunteers

• Find an Agency to pick up produce: “Hi my name is (your name) (your position) with Society of St. Andrew and we have a food salvage event on (date) from (start time) to (end time). Volunteers will be picking leftover (produce type) and I was wondering if your organization would like to pick it up. “

• If they say yes, ask:

      • What type of truck?
      • What kind of containers?
      • How many pounds/bins/boxes can they take?
      • What is their email so you can send confirmation details to them?

• Reserve rental truck if necessary

C.   1 Week Before the Event

• Confirm with farmer if and how much produce needs to be gleaned, where it is located, and if they will be able to provide any tools or containers. You may need to drive out to farm to look at field, verify directions, check on condition of the field, and determine the best place to park. 

• Send gleaning confirmation to volunteers with final details including the field directions and the liability waiver. Be sure that you have a good phone number for each group’s contact person, in case of changes or cancellation due to weather.

• Confirm with agency that they are still planning on picking up. Get the driver’s phone number if possible.

D.   Day Before the Event

• Re-confirm with farmer to ensure nothing has changed

• Re-confirm with agency to ensure nothing has changed and that they have correct directions. If any groups or volunteers will be distributing the produce themselves, make sure that their drop-off points will be unlocked and have adequate storage, etc.

• Check on weather and cancel with the farmer, volunteers and agencies if necessary. While we do glean in the rain if there is no thunder or lightning, be sure to check with the grower first as fields may not be suitable to pick in if there has been a lot of rain.

• Organize supplies:

    • Clipboard
    • Water Cooler
    • First Aid Kit
    • Gleaning Signs
    • Gloves
    • Any necessary bins, buckets, boxes, clippers, pickers, red mesh bags, plastic bags etc. Grocery stores and liquor stores are good places to find used plastic bags and cardboard boxes.

• Prepare clipboard

E.   Day of The Event

  • Before the glean:
    • Arrive at field 30 minutes before start time
    • Put out gleaning signs
    • Set out supplies if necessary
    • Greet volunteers as they arrive and collect liability waivers
    • Briefly go over the talking points and Gleaning Safety Protocols
    • Introduce the grower if they have come out to the field and thank them for the opportunity
    • Give instructions about what/where to pick. Don’t assume that volunteers know the best way to harvest each type of produce. It is always best to ask the grower how they would prefer you to harvest and then pass that information along to the gleaners.
    • Encourage groups to work in pairs and assign responsibilities. For example, some volunteers can haul gleaned produce from the field to a collection point while others continue to glean. 
  • During the glean:
    • Be positive and upbeat– encourage the volunteers to work hard but to have fun. The food they salvage is food that a hungry person will eat!
    • Call water breaks every hour (if there is a large group, break these into shifts)
    • Talk to volunteers about their experiences with gleaning, their stories, answer any questions
    • Keep track of pounds gleaned
    • Take pictures
    • Note: You may not be able to do a lot of gleaning yourself during this time, but your leadership is important for the group’s experience.
  • After the glean
    • Have volunteers check field for any trash or supplies. Field should be left in better condition than we found it.
    • Circle volunteers up and thank them for their participation, emphasizing the following:
      • How many pounds they picked
      • How many servings this food will provide
      • Where all of the food will be distributed
      • Use talking points. Hand out cards/brochures to anyone who wants to learn more. 
    • Write down any good stories volunteers shared with you
    • Fill out gleaning report
    • Send thank you email or handwritten note to groups and individual volunteers