Location: Munson Farm, Boulder, CO
Featuring: Dave Carlson of Community Food Share
“While we have a viable food system now for those who can afford it, we definitely don’t have a viable food system for people who can’t. Gleaning is a way to make up the difference.”
Community Food Share was created in a Boulder Garage in 1981 by volunteers who recognized the need to provide supplemental food to a growing number of local residents with limited food security. In 2011 they rescued 43,000 pounds of local fresh produce that would have otherwise been tilled under by local farmers. Gleaned produce is taken directly to the Community Food Share warehouse, weighed, then put in a cooler. The next day over 50 agencies from the regional food bank system pick it up.
Dave Carlson says that with nearly 40% of all food raised in the U.S. not consumed, food banks can use cleaning to address this unsustainable aspect of our food system and reduce waste.The gleaning is done by community groups, local businesses, volunteers from local universities, and concerned individuals. (Many have assisted for over 15 years.) It is not unusual for volunteers to glean 80,000 pounds of fresh produce each year from farms like this. An individual consumes, on average, about one pound of food in a typical meal, so when gleaners harvest 2,000 pounds of produce this is providing meals for roughly 2,000 food insecure people in a local community.