Sierra Sun, August 12, 2015 — Tahoe Food Hub hosted its first “gleaning” event on Monday, July 20. Gleaning is when a team of volunteers harvests vegetables that would otherwise go to waste in the field, and donate that perfectly good food to local food banks and hunger-relief agencies. “This could be North Lake Tahoe’s first organized gleaning event, and our organization is thrilled to provide this opportunity,” remarks Susie Sutphin, Tahoe Food Hub Executive Director. “In bringing equity back into the food system, Tahoe Food Hub not only wants to get the farmer a fair price but equal access to the food we source.”
The gleaning event was coordinated among local nonprofits, individuals and region farms. Former Truckee Elementary PTO President Alex Herrera led the charge as volunteer coordinator. Tahoe Food Hub put the word out to all their farms, asking they alert the nonprofit when they had excess crops that would get tilled under or fed to the pigs if not harvested.
Local Girl Scout Troop No. 1310 heard about the project and wanted to donate money to buy supplies such as harvest buckets, storage bins, gloves, and clippers.
Project MANA is a close partner of Tahoe Food Hub and was the natural destination for the donated produce.
On Friday the 17th, Mountain Bounty Farm in Nevada City contacted Tahoe Food Hub for a gleaning on July 20. “… We had five adults and four teens organized for the … gleaning. It was a really impressive response with just a few days notice,” said Herrera. In a 2.5-hour span, volunteers harvested 280 pounds of Chioggia beets, 255 pounds of sweet corn, 20 pounds of cherry tomatoes and 8 pounds of basil. The volunteer team brought the produce back to the hub’s Farm Shop at the bottom of Alpine Meadows Road, where it was stored overnight and delivered the next day to the Project MANA warehouse in Incline Village for its four distribution sites Monday through Thursday of each week.
“To get local, fresh, sustainably grown food is a real treat,” commented Brian Hunt, Project MANA Food Supply Manager. “When we get local food from the food hub, we like to share the story with our community members so they too can be better connected to where their food comes from.”
For more information about the Tahoe Food Hub, visit their website here.