What is Gleaning?
A: The act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest; redirecting food surplus in fields on farms and delivering it to agencies who distribute to the communities in need.
Who do you get the food from?
A: Local farmers partner with and generously donate to Hope’s Harvest, including; Arcadian Fields, Four Town Farm, Foggy Notion Farm, Earth Care Farm, Barden Family Orchard, Freedom Food Farm, Casey Farm, Sweet Pea Farm, The Farm in RI, Brandon Family Farm, Wishing Stone Farm, and more!
Who do you donate the food to?
A: We donate to food pantries and soup kitchens across the state, including; the Olneyville Food Center, Jonnycake Peace Dale, Jonnycake Westerly, MLK Community Center, East Bay Food Pantry, Crossroads, and Amos House.
Where do you operate?
A: We are the first Rhode Island farm-based gleaning project, and we rescue and deliver across the whole state! We also recover food from farms in southeastern MA, but distribute only in RI.
Why wouldn’t a farmer harvest all their crops?
A: Farmers leave perfectly good food in the fields for a variety of reasons, including sorting out “Ugly” fruits and vegetables that are less desirable or too small/large for their markets, overproduction from extra plantings to account for risk, or not enough labor to harvest.
Why are gleaning trips mostly on weekday mornings?
A: Our trips are scheduled based on the availability of the farmer, which is mostly on weekdays. As we build relationships with our farmers, we’re more able to go out when they’re not on the farm. We do have occasional weekend trips, and are working on increasing the number of these, so keep your eyes peeled!
Can my child volunteer/Can I volunteer with my kids?
A: If they are 14+ and accompanied by an adult. Volunteers under 14 are not generally allowed, and 14-17 year olds need a parent or guardian’s signature on their liability release form. We are working on setting up family trips at farms we have vetted for safety and ease of harvest and expect to have at least two of these per season.
What do you need to volunteer?
A: Volunteers need an email address to receive trip invitations and transportation to get to the farms. There are no skills, experience or tools required to volunteer. HHRI staff provides all the necessary equipment and trains every volunteer on site.
How do you sign up to volunteer?
A: Register as a volunteer on the HHRI website https://hopesharvest.org, and/or put your name on our mailing list and you will get event invitations where you can sign up for individual trips. There is NO obligation to participate when you register! Choose only the trips that work for your schedule.
Who funds HHRI?
A: HHRI is fiscally sponsored by Farm Fresh RI and we are based out of their offices in Pawtucket. They provide access to cold storage and deliveries through the Market Mobile platform. HHRI is also funded by grants, corporate sponsorships, fundraising events, and individual donations.