Join the Gleaning Team
Every Sunday, the bell tower in Ballard chimes out 3 o'clock, vendors start to pack up, the streets begin to empty, and the gleaning team assembles to collect any unsold and unwanted produce from farms.
Gleaning coordinator Katie Shinn started volunteering with the Ballard Food Bank about 4 years ago. "I found out about the program and thought it would be a good way to get involved in the community. Volunteering [with the gleaning team], for me, came from a fundamental belief in giving back - it starts locally. It's impossible to ignore the amount of homelessness there is here. You only have to go [to the food bank] once or twice to see that there are not big differences between us. Giving local produce to those who are down and knowing it is nourishing, that's what volunteering is about for me."
Food bank coordinator Peggy Bailey reports the donations from Ballard Farmers Market help supply up to 1300 people every week with fresh fruits and vegetables; this includes about 50 home deliveries to folks that are not able to visit the food bank. One patron shared with Peggy, "I'm so grateful for the variety of produce here. I love to cook, but can’t always afford to try new types of produce. Through food bank donations, I'm able to try new things that I wouldn’t try at the grocery store because I can’t afford it or may not know how to prepare it."