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Rescuing nature's bounty for the benefit of our community
Ever wonder where that gleaned orange or radish went after you harvested it? This is the story of how  produce gets into the hands of those who need it most.

If you're itching to volunteer when the weather isn't glean-permitting, we invite you to volunteer in the Food Bank warehouse and get some hands on experience. See the process for yourself! Sign up for a two hour shift online:
 
Check out our Harvest Calendar »
Volunteer at the Food Bank Warehouse »
First Stop: Warehouse
After we've carefully loaded up all of our gleaned produce into the truck, we're off on our merry way to the new San Luis Obispo Warehouse. Here, our Food Bank staff and volunteers sort and pack the produce to get it ready for one of its many possible paths. Some produce is made available at the warehouse for non-profit partners to come pickup, while most is only at the beginning of its journey. The Food Bank runs more than 120 monthly food distributions, serving low income individuals and families in every community in San Luis Obispo County. Read on to learn about the various types of Food Bank programs that distribute gleaned goods.
Children's Programs: GleanSLO's Littlest Big Fans
Children’s Farmers Market is a preventive health program that aims to improve the nutrition of low-income families and children. They are held at 18 of our county's schools, where 50% or more of their students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Tables are piled high with 8-12 different types of seasonal fruits and vegetables. GleanSLO often provides produce items that may be unfamiliar to the kids, getting them really excited and asking questions! They get to learn about items such as persimmons, bok choy, loquats, and spaghetti squash. At the markets, each child receives a bag and numerous "Food Bank Bucks", fake one-dollar bills. Signs tell the children the prices and they choose which produce to “purchase.” 

Each child walks away laden with 10-15 pounds of produce and a big smile on their faces, knowing they have chosen healthy food and that they are contributing to feeding their own family. GleanSLO produce allows us to educate the children on local produce, how it was grown, how you prepare it, and how you can purchase it at markets while providing the kids and their families fresh fruits and vegetables they may not have chosen themselves.
Nutrition 101
 Our Nutrition Program works to educate Food Bank recipients on how to utilize produce provided at distribution sites. Program staff and volunteers prepare and distribute samples of recipes that incorporate freshly gleaned produce, focusing on recipes that are healthy, delicious, convenient, and culturally relevant.

Are you interested in taking that next step with rescued produce? Do you want to see gleaned produce turned into something healthy and delicious? You can volunteer to prepare recipes in our Learning Kitchen or provide Nutrition Education at a Food Bank distribution site. There is more information available at this site: http://www.slofoodbank.org/programs/nutrition-education

Neighborhood Food Distributions
Our Community Food Programs include all sites where we distribute food directly to individuals, families and seniors in our community. Every month we operate over 80 public distributions throughout San Luis Obispo County, focusing on areas of the county where people may have difficulty accessing food due to lack of resources, lack of transportation, or distance from grocery stores. There are several food desert communities in SLO County were the Food Bank is intentional about distributing extra produce, such as California Valley, Shandon, and San Miguel.

Half of the food distributed at Neighborhood Food Distributions is produce, a portion of which comes directly from gleans. Each recipient receives about 20-25 pounds of produce and 20-25 pounds of shelf stable staples like dried beans, rice, pasta, tuna, and peanut butter. GleanSLO makes it possible for us to provide fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables to those who need it in our community!


To learn more about where you or a neighbor can access free, healthy food, please visit the "Get Help" page on the Food Bank website and download the resource list in English or Spanish.  
Senior Farmers Markets
Seniors are one of our fastest growing food insecure populations and often have the hardest time accessing fresh food due to medical conditions, lack of transportation, or fixed incomes. The Food Bank has 8 Senior Farmers Market sites, set up at low income senior housing centers. Their aim is to provide easily accessible fresh and healthy food, featuring a wide variety while focusing on senior friendly produce. These distributions often become regular community events for the residents, bringing people together to socialize and sometimes even prepare food for one another.
Non-profit Partners 
Over 200 non-profits, food pantries, churches, after school programs, and senior centers throughout the county source their food from the Food Bank. Our gleaned produce is incorporated into these orders, adding local and seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables that many recipients would not normally be receiving. Next time you're out there gleaning avocados, pomegranates or another special produce item, think about what a wonderful surprise it will be for someone!
Celebrate with us!
Come thank the farmers who help us grow a healthy community!

WHO: GleanSLO staff, volunteers and farmers.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 22, 5pm-7pm
WHERE: San Luis Obispo Food Bank
1180 Kendall Road, San Luis Obispo

Let us know who is coming. RSVP to Roxanne by February 17th.

Roxanne Sanders
GleanSLO Program Manager
gleanslo@slofoodbank.org
(805) 835-3750

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January Produce Donors 
Thank you:

Cortez Farms
Paulette Diaz
Harlow Family Orchard
Hearst Castle
Island Farm
Gary Kucer
L & C Smith Groves
Lechuga Farm
SLO Farmers Market
SLO Veg
Talley Farms
Templeton Farmers Market
Sally Woelper

 

GleanSLO's Vision
Through the act of harvesting and sharing food, we connect and nourish our community to build stronger relationships and a deeper appreciation for our food.
 
Harvest Calendar »
GleanSLO is a program of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County
1180 Kendall Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
www.slofoodbank.org | 
www.gleanslo.org 
 


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