Fighting Food Insecurity

We feed the hungry by gathering surplus crops and unsold groceries for food distributors across San Diego County. Help us by volunteering, donating or both!

Latest News

Donate a Vehicle — Just like board member Joe Strasser

Senior Gleaners board member and crew leader Joe Strasser of Fallbrook recently donated his high mileage Prius to Careasy to benefit our organization. Big THANKS to Joe!

Joe joins several gleaner volunteers, resident donors and our administrative assistant in donating to Careasy. The process is quick and simple with no fees charged to the vehicle owner.

Donate today to qualify for a 2023 tax deduction.

Welcome New Board Member
Arlene Hasegawa

Arlene Hasegawa

Arlene joined Senior Gleaners in 2023 soon after retiring. Later in the year she said she agreed to join the board as “a way of giving back to the community where I’ve lived all my life.” Her parents and husband grew up on family farms and she welcomed the chance to work with produce other than in her own garden. “We live in one of the most productive farming regions in the county, but sadly have tons of food going to landfills annually while 25 per cent of the residents remain food insecure,” she added. After receiving a degree in physics from San Diego State University, Arlene filled program management positions that drove technology products and systems from concept to global markets with firms such as Dexcom, Qualcomm and Cymer. She is conversant in Japanese.

Fall Newsletter

Read about recent outreach, current volume of food recovered and featured volunteer Marion Winandy. Also see many photos of volunteers supporting our mission.

Are you Ready to Lead Senior Gleaners in 2024?

Next year will be crucial for the future success of our organization. We are expanding service into North County as well as South Bay. Additionally, a board subcommittee is drafting a strategic plan which will help us focus our priorities, guide our operations and help us build public awareness.

To accomplish this, Senior Gleaners is seeking two people to step up to the roles of president and vice president and lead our organization. We are looking for candidates NOW for board vice president to begin serving immediately and to assume the role of president in January of 2024. We also need a vice president to be nominated in November to begin service in January. The positions are vital to the continued operation and success of our organization and will be supported by our board of directors.

Ideal candidates for these positions should have a passion for our mission and leadership experience in organization management or board membership, but these qualifications are not mandatory.

Candidates need not have direct gleaning experience nor is there an age requirement. Board officers serve a two-year term and may serve a second two-year term.

If you are interested, please contact Board President Margaret Burton at or 858-761-7475.

Margaret can provide detailed job descriptions for each position and discuss roles and responsibilities. If you have friends, neighbors or other gleaner volunteers who you think would be good candidates, please forward their names and contact information to Margaret if you are not comfortable asking them to apply.

This is your opportunity to volunteer your leadership skills, promote a great organization and give back to our community.


We welcome volunteers 55 years and above. Sign up today by completing our online form.

Donate a Crop

Our crews glean from as few as one or two backyard trees, orchards and farms. If you have crops to donate please contact us. You receive a receipt for tax deductions.

Donate Funds

We rely on grants and donations from our volunteers, their family members and residents. Please support our work with funds, vehicles and more.

Reduce Waste

About 40% of landfill volume is organic material — much of it food waste, producing harmful methane gas. Learn better ways to shop, store food and protect the environment.

Gleaners in Action

What’s a Gleaner? For centuries, gleaners have collected food that would otherwise be wasted. The term originates from landowners leaving portions of their fields or crops for the poor to glean — collect bit by bit.

We Made Quite a Community Impact in 2022


Pounds Crops Picked


Pounds Groceries Collected


Volunteer Hours Recorded


San Diego County Resident Donors

Read What San Diegans are Saying About Us

Residential Fruit Donor

“I rely on the gleaning crew to help me pick my trees. I donate in memory of my wife who planted them many years ago.”

Leonard S.

Senior Volunteer

“Why I like gleaning: It’s useful, fun, outdoors, reduces waste, feeds people. When picking I’m enmeshed in layers of generosity: from those who grow the food; from pickers who give time, work, gas; from distributors; and from many recipients who share the food with family and neighbors.”

Anne G.S.

Monetary Donor

Linda Loehr

“My daughter is one of your volunteers and she feels strongly about the organization.”

Linda L.

Surplus Food Distributor

Angela W Heaven's Windows

“Our clients are delighted to see fresh fruit and more-so when they learn it was donated and picked by neighbors.”

Angela W., Heaven’s Windows

Your Questions Answered

Gleaners Juggling Lemons
Our volunteers keep active, make friends and give back to the community.

What does the Senior Gleaners organization do?

We provide quality food, otherwise wasted, to those needing it the most while giving meaningful activity to seniors.

How can I contribute to Senior Gleaners?

Volunteer to harvest crops, collect groceries, donate equipment and funds or employ special skills to support our mission.

How do I get started at my first glean?

After you register, a crew leader will contact you and assign you to a glean. They will also provide a brief orientation with helpful tips and information about the property. New grocery volunteers join crews using their own vehicles or a Senior Gleaners van.

Want to give us a try before joining or bringing a friend?

Get a Guest Waiver and give it to the crew leader at the glean. We also require the waiver for ALL minor guests who must be at least five years old.

How are gleans planned?

Our system assigns donors to the crew leader covering their geographic area. We meet or speak with crop owners and discuss logistics before scheduling the glean.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Email or call 619.633.9180. We are always happy to assist you.

Some volunteers use a Senior Gleaners van to haul groceries from stores to distributors.
Some volunteers use a Senior Gleaners van to haul groceries from stores to distributors.
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