What is Gleaning?
To Gather Little By Little
To Collect What Is Left
Gleaners Roam The Island
Collecting Fruit and Produce
That Would Otherwise Go to Waste
The Good Cheer Gleaners bridge the gap between ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’, connecting community members with extra fruit to those in need. Gleaned fruit is brought to the Good Cheer Food Bank to be added to the produce section or shared with community partners. Donations help us offer fresh, organic, locally grown fruit to people with limited access to healthy food.
Did you know? Leaving fruit on the ground (or on the tree) attracts and spreads pests. Donating extra tree fruit not only reduces waste, it reduces the spread of pests like apple maggot, resulting in healthier trees and a healthier environment.
How To Get Involved
Donate a Tree!
Too much fruit? Difficulty picking it all yourself? Sign up to donate tree fruit here
It’s always up to you how many of your trees we pick. Keeping in mind that our goal is to provide fresh produce to the community, the distribution is typically:
50% to the food bank
25% to tree owners
25% to gleaning volunteers
Excess fruit goes to our partner organizations, including WIN, Ryan’s House, the Bayview Senior center, and the Veterans Association.
Join the Scouts!
Starting in 2019, we will be looking for neighborhood tree scouts who can keep an eye on trees nearby and let us know when they’re close to being ready.
Email the Gleaning Coordinator at [email protected] if you’re interested in being a tree scout!
Be a Gleaner!
Join the crew of gleeful gleaners – have fun, pick fruit, support your community. There are jobs for everyone, from picking on a ladder to sorting and transporting the harvest.
Gleaning volunteers are also welcome to share in the harvest!
We also love to hear from tree experts who can help identify fruit varieties or share their orchard care knowledge.
Find out more about volunteering here
Got fruit to spare? Donate a tree!
If you have a tree with more fruit than you can use, fill out our tree donor form, and we’ll do our best to get a crew of volunteers together to help you harvest it. We are looking for fruit trees that are pest free, and organically managed or unsprayed for at least one year.
Please give us at least 2-3 weeks notice before the fruit is ripe to be sure that we have enough time to coordinate the harvest.
If you are able to pick your own fruit and bring it to Good Cheer, that would help us target our volunteer efforts where they are most needed. You can drop off donations at the Good Cheer Food Bank between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Saturday.
If you’re donating fruit, please keep in mind:
- No ground-fall, for food safety reasons. Not even if you saw it fall.
- Use boxes, not bags, to prevent damage to the fruit
- No pest-damaged fruit, again for food safety reasons
- Pick fruit at its prime and donate as soon after picking as possible
You can find our full donation guidelines (including information on donating garden produce, eggs, and canned goods) here
Help Harvest – Have fun while doing good!
The Gleeful Gleaners are always happy to welcome new and returning volunteers. We harvest in the summer and early fall – usually late June to mid-November.
Volunteers pick, transport, and process gleaned fruit. We have jobs for scouts, tree climbers, and applesauce makers. Gleaning volunteers are also welcome to share in the harvest! While at least 50% of what we pick goes to the food bank, the remainder can be split between the tree owner and the gleaners.
We also love to hear from local tree experts who are willing to share their knowledge on tree variety identification, pruning, pest prevention, and general orchard care.
You can sign up to be a volunteer by filling out the form on the right. Feel free to contact the gleaning coordinator at [email protected] with any questions!