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Harvest Against Hunger (HAH) is a gleaning project of Rotary First Harvest that increases the amount of fresh produce available to hunger relief agencies throughout Washington State. HAH creates connections with small- to medium-sized farms and builds volunteer capacity to glean produce that would otherwise go unharvested due to superficial damage
A Success Story
RFH coordinated a field harvest project with Northwest Harvest –Yakima and La Salle High School that resulted in roughly 120,000 pounds of apples being gleaned from Alderson Orchard in Yakima. La Salle High School staff developed curricula based on the project, including social justice, mathematics, history and other components. RFH coordinated with the orchard manager to maintain, water, prune, and spray the trees in preparation for harvest, and then arranged for bin delivery, pickup, storage and distribution – all of which were donated.
or other factors. Gleaned produce is then delivered to food banks using Rotary First Harvest's existing network of transportation and hunger relief partners. The program provides the infrastructure needed to build connections between farms and food banks in order to encourage direct donor participation and provide a sustainable source of fresh produce to food banks.
HAH was started as a pilot project in the fall of 2008 by Solid Ground and Rotary First Harvest. This year, Rotary First Harvest is partnering with AmeriCorps*VISTA to build capacity for the program. Eight VISTA volunteers will focus on cultivating a base of volunteer gleaners, conducting outreach to growers, and coordinating the logistics for local gleaning projects in Bellingham, Seattle, Olympia, Yakima, Tri-Cities and Okanogan. Other partners include Seattle Works, Northwest Harvest Yakima, Second Harvest Inland Northwest, Bellingham Food Bank, Fields of Grace, Thurston County Food Bank, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Farm Bureau, and Cascade Harvest Coalition.
Rotary First Harvest provides a quarterly report on project progress and outcomes to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the AmeriCorps*VISTA program. Examples of gleaning projects and successes are shared on the Rotary First Harvest Web site.
Featured: Summer 2009 - Go to Newsletter
Low income families and individuals, hunger relief agencies, farms