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Indy Glean Team: Five ways to share produce with the hungry

For Indy residents who love fresh food and want to share it with neighbors in need, here are five easy ways to glean for the hungry.

Five easy ways for Indy residents to share fresh food with neighbors in need. Fresh produce like these apples gleaned from Crooked Creek Farmers Markets delivered directly to food pantry patrons.
Christina M. McDougall, August 2013.

At home: manage produce overflow

Summer is here which means vacation season. Rather than let produce rot at home while you beach bathe, consider your hungry neighbors. Fresh, packaged, whole and uncut fruits and vegetables are food pantry patron favorites, but in low supply. Who doesn’t love fresh Indiana watermelon? Contact your local Indy food pantry for donation details.

In the garden: Plant a Row for the Hungry

Are you a gardener with a heart for the hungry? Do you have a zucchini jungle? Food pantries gladly accept bumper crops. The Garden Writers Association’s Plant-a-Row program encourages one-to-one relationship building through growing and sharing produce. Local partners include Indy Hunger Network, Indy Food Council and Purdue Extension Marion County. Contact your nearest Indy pantry partner for details.

At work: corporate gardening

The number of businesses and organizations growing gardens on corporate property around Indianapolis is blooming! Dow AgroSciences and Crooked Creek CDC have backyard raised beds for employees to cultivate before or after work, or on their lunch breaks. Companies request growers contribute a produce percentage to food pantries or directly to hungry families. Ask your manager if this program exists at your company. If not, start one!

At a farm: direct harvest

Indy Hunger Network and Indy Urban Acres coordinate direct harvest gleans at Central Indiana farms, community gardens and ripe forage patches. Pick everything from apples to acorn squash, meet others committed to the cause and learn a skill. Interested volunteers can sign up for scheduled farm gleans as well as Glean Team Action Alerts.

At the farmers’ market: Volunteer or Buy Two, Give One

Help glean at your local farmers' market! Shop at Indy City Market’s Original Farmers’ Market; buy two farmers’ market products: one for your family, and one for a family in need. Drop off donated produce, honey, syrup, eggs or meat at the market manager’s table. Want to volunteer? Broad Ripple Farmers’ Market and Binford Farmers’ Market collect excess produce from farmers at close of market.Glean Team volunteers handle food pantry delivery.