Washington State Gleaning Network

22 Dec 2023, by Admin in Current Host Sites (WA)

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Washington State Gleaning Network

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1201 1st Ave S
Suite 304
Seattle, WA 98134

As both a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and a program of Rotary District 5030, Harvest Against Hunger works with farmers, truckers, volunteers, and others to bring valuable skills and resources into hunger relief efforts in communities across Washington state and beyond. They’ve been operating as Harvest Against Hunger since 2019 but Rotary 5030 has been in the hunger relief field since 1982. They are one of the pillars of the hunger relief scene in the Greater Seattle area. Their Farm to Food Pantry program works with the WSDA to provide funding for hunger relief organizations to partner with small, local farmers. They also have a robust Harvest VISTA program, which provides low cost and low-barrier service opportunities to hunger relief organizations around the U.S. and is sponsored by AmeriCorps.

The Association of Gleaning Organizations is a national organization created in 2017, whose mission is to build the capacity of organizations recovering fresh fruits and vegetables from farms, gardens, and backyards across North America. That is, they are an organization who supports the growth of gleaning nationwide. Their work includes: facilitating connections between gleaning organizations, hosting monthly calls, and an annual gleaning conference held in a different region of the country each year. By engaging communities to harvest surplus produce, vulnerable populations in the U.S. are provided with increased access to wholesome foods.

The Washington State Gleaning Network Project recruits a full time AmeriCorps member to coordinate building a network of gleaning organizations within Washington state, with the support, resources and expertise of both Harvest Against Hunger and the Association of Gleaning Organizations. The AmeriCorps member is hosted at the Seattle offices of Harvest Against Hunger but works alongside both organizations to create this project. The year 2023 is the first year of a three-year pilot project, whose aim is to create the structure of a network that not only supports gleaners in Washington state but also documents a scalable process to build gleaning networks in other states. The goal of this supportive structure is the sustainability and growth of gleaning programs which lead to reduced waste and food insecurity in Washington state and gets excess produce into the hands of those who need it most.