History of Thurston County Food Bank and Gleaning
The current gleaning program in Thurston County began in 2009 with an AmeriCorps member placement at TCFB. Previous to this, Olympia had a gleaning coalition independent from the food bank, but eventually, the main volunteer departed and gleaning projects hibernated. The current model is a centralized program with a Gleaning Coordinator based at the food bank who organizes events, recruits volunteers, and communicates with volunteers and farmers.
In addition to hosting the gleaning program, TCFB has launched a number of projects to improve its produce area including a winter community supported agriculture (CSA) program, a mini CSA program for children on free or reduced lunches at two elementary schools, a winter produce food drive at local grocers, a plant-a-row campaign, a strong partnership and weekly work parties with the Kiwanis Club’s food bank gardens, and internships for students of The Evergreen State College focused on produce-related programs.