Senior Gleaners of San Diego County
Volunteers, ages 55 and older, glean surplus food from fields, groves, backyards, stores and restaurants. For more than 25 years, the organization has donated tons of food annually to local agencies that feed the hungry. Senior Gleaners is affiliated with the San Diego County Office of Aging and Independent Services.
Currently the organization numbers about 50 active gleaners with ages ranging from 55 into their 80s. We have no paid staff. The group has two functions:
1. Gleaning produce one morning a week from donors throughout San Diego County. One group specializes in large groves and farms in the North County area while a second group focuses on donations of all sizes (even 1 or 2 backyard trees in some cases) primarily in South and East County locations.
2. Gleaning unsold bakery products and a wide variety of other food products every day of the week from grocers, restaurants and fast food outlets, primarily in the greater San Diego city area.
Gleaned food is distributed to more than 40 food-giving agencies in the county. Only those with low incomes are eligible for this food. None of it is ever sold. Recipient groups include churches, food pantries, senior meal providers, a teen residence and residents in low income housing. Some of the recipient organizations serve as umbrella agencies sharing with smaller food distributors.
During 2015 gleaners distributed 350,000 pounds of food that otherwise would have been destroyed, wasted or rotted. Many of our recipient organizations are small and not affiliated with larger food distribution organizations, so the Senior Gleaners are an important supplier of nutrition for their clients.
Board of Directors
The governing body of Senior Gleaners is a volunteer board chaired by Monte Turner. The board meets quarterly to review operations and finances. The board is seeking new members. There are no age requirements and board members need not participate in active gleaning.
Gleaners distribute food to more than 40 agencies including churches, food pantries and low income housing.
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