|A "Gleaning" crew
SARASOTA – All Faiths Food Bank will again benefit from the annual fruit tree gleaning project organized by the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club. Now celebrating its 10th year, this collaboration of club members, students, youth groups and residents with fruit trees, supports All Faiths Food Bank by providing fresh fruit for distribution to our neighbors in need.
“Gleaning” (verb) - to gather produce left after the harvest that otherwise would go to waste to benefit those in need.
Many Florida homes have citrus trees in their yards and when there is more fruit than the homeowner's needs, it may be left to go to waste. Residents with citrus trees are asked to contact the “Glean4AFFB” message center by phone or email. Messages will be returned in less than 24 hours, and an all-volunteer Gleaning crew will be scheduled to pick the excess fruit on Saturdays starting in January through April. This fruit will be distributed to the hungry throughout the area by All Faiths Food Bank.
“We are always working on ways to get fresh produce to the families that count on us,” said All Faiths’ Executive Director Sandra Frank, “We are so fortunate here in Florida to have fruit in our own backyards, and even better that we have groups like the Kiwanis Club who are able to organize and engage such a large portion of the community to share with those in need.”
The Gleaning crews are trained to select fruit that is still good, having not been on the ground, nibbled on by critters, or others conditions outlined in the quality standards guidelines. After boxing up the fruit, it is then delivered immediately to a climate controlled storage unit generously provided by Big Jim’s Storage. All Faiths Food Bank drivers will pick it up and deliver it to local distribution sites including pantries, community centers, churches, and soup kitchens.
The message center established by the Kiwanis Club, is available for residents to request gleaning, and for volunteers who would like to participate. Able-bodied volunteers are organized by the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club and include area Kiwanians, Pine View High School Key Club members, youth groups, friends, and family members.
To contact the message center, call 941-254-1944 anytime and leave a message. Calls are returned within 24 hours. Messages will also be returned via email: Glean4AFFB@gmail.com.
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the hub of the hunger relief system in DeSoto and Sarasota Counties. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed nearly 6.2 million pounds of food equating to 5.2 million meals through 195 pantries, soup kitchens, churches, community centers and programs. Its mission is to feed those in need and educate the community about hunger and nutrition. More information about nutrition education, school and other programs can be found at www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.
About the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club
The mission and purpose of Kiwanis is focused on supporting children in need. Since our its founding, the "Mighty" Siesta Key Kiwanis Club members have been an active and visible part of the Greater Sarasota Community. The annual backyard citrus gleaning to benefit All Faiths Food Bank is the Club's longest running service program.
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