The WSU Extension Gleaning Program is seeking local fruit and vegetables not being collected by property owners. Each year, gleaners rescue tens of thousands of pounds of produce that would otherwise go to waste, program organizers say. (Photo courtesy of WSU Extension Gleaning Program )

The WSU Extension Gleaning Program is seeking local fruit and vegetables not being collected by property owners. Each year, gleaners rescue tens of thousands of pounds of produce that would otherwise go to waste, program organizers say. (Photo courtesy of WSU Extension Gleaning Program )

Clallam gleaners gather edibles from waste piles

PORT ANGELES — Gleaners with the Clallam Gleaning Program are in search of produce to pick and share with the community this growing season.

The program run through the WSU Extension Office has the dual goal of reducing food waste in Clallam County, while also addressing hunger and poor nutrition. Every year, gleaners rescue tens of thousands of pounds of produce that would otherwise go to waste.

This year program organizers are especially on the lookout for figs, peaches, apricots, walnuts, berries, hazelnuts, grapes, vegetables or Italian Prune Plums because these items are in great demand; however, any produce is welcome.

“This is how it works: a gleaner will come to your house and pick your extra produce,” said Sharah Truett, WSU Extension gleaning coordinator.

Produce is donated to food banks, schools, senior nutrition programs, residential facilities and shelters.

“This way, the food is spread as widely as possible in our community and not left to rot under trees,” Truett said.

Gleaning, Truett noted, is an old-fashioned word that means harvesting extra fruits and vegetables which are left in the fields after farmers have already picked everything they can sell.

“However, you don’t have to be a farmer to participate,” Truett said. “If you are a homeowner with good-tasting, pest-free fruits and veggies in your garden, we would love to pick them.”

Homeowners can learn more about the program by contacting Truett at 360-565-2619 or at sharah. [email protected]

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