I came across this great little video through the Aljazeera network about UK activists involved in food gleaning projects, who are hoping to draw attention to the amount of food that goes to waste as well as to show ways people can make a positive impact on local food access.
OFRE volunteers glean fruit from urban trees and share the bounty with many groups to help build community through food. It’s part of our mandate to get locally grown fruits into the hands, mouths, and minds of Edmontonians. A somewhat newer initiative of OFRE is to do farm gleans to rescue the end of harvest vegetables. It all started a couple years ago when we got a call from a farm in Pigeon Lake area asking us if we rescue vegetables. The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds before, and that’s probably because we are quite overwhelmed with just trying to keep up with the fruit requests! Our first farm glean at Gone Green Acres Farm in 2011 was a great success, and the interest has grown from there. Last fall OFRE volunteers went to a local farm Riverbend Gardens, which you may have heard of before in regards to the Horsehill ASP and Friends of Farmers initiative. They are working hard to keep their farm as farmland. They care deeply about growing local food and want to be able to continue doing that in the future but are facing many challenges from city council, apathy, and developers who are wanting to ever expand the suburbs. At Riverbend Gardens, OFRE volunteers rescued approx. 7-10 tonnes of vegetables! Can you imagine?! 5 tonnes were donated to the Salvation Army in Edmonton who run hot meal programs for people living in the inner city and dish out over 400 meals a day! They were very excited about the fresh vegetables to cook up for fall meals making hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. Yum! The rest of the vegetables were divided up among the volunteers who came out for the day and Riverbend Gardens. I think it’s so powerful to see local farms reach out to organizations such as ours to help them get the rest of the harvest out of their fields and share the bounty of locally grown food with a wide network of people who can benefit from it. It’s such a great initiative and I look forward to seeing it expand in the future!
Here is the video called: UK activists look to use wasted food.