Every year, ~20 billion pounds of surplus fruits and vegetables are left in the fields of America’s farms. Meanwhile, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 25.2% of Rhode Island residents are food insecure. Children, seniors, and working families struggling to make ends meet utilize a network of over 200 emergency food pantries and meal sites from Westerly to Woonsocket.
Hope’s Harvest RI mobilizes volunteers to collect unharvested produce and deliver it to needy populations. As an efficient and effective solution to the twin challenges of food waste and hungry people, farm-based food recovery (also known as “gleaning”) strengthens our local food system and makes our communities less dependent on commodity food shipped from thousands of miles away instead of what’s in our own backyard.