Donate Crops, Funds, Vehicles & More

We rely on your donations and support to deliver on our mission.

We harvest all sizes of properties – from one or two trees in a backyard to entire orchards.

Help us Feed San Diego’s Hungry Families

Residential Crops

Improve the health of your fruit trees, eliminate food waste and obtain a tax receipt for your donation.

Farm Crops

We train, supervise, and hold liability coverage for all our volunteers.


We depend on monetary and vehicle donations, grants, bequests, and fundraisers to run our organization.

Other Support

Besides harvesting and hauling food, you can help promote our mission in many ways.

San Diego County Residents

We keep your fruit from going to waste or ending up in methane-generating landfills.

Additional Benefits

  • Improved health of fruit trees
  • A year-end receipt for tax donation purposes
  • Assurance of security for your property and donation. The federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects food donors. Senior Gleaners carries organizational liability insurance.

NOTE: During the busy harvest season, it may be two to three weeks before we contact you to schedule a crew.

Group of volunteers picking a tree
Some volunteers form mini-crews and set their own schedules.
Small crews work near their homes and join together for large properties.

Helpful Tips

  • Contact us 2-3 weeks before you think your harvest will be ready
  • Near your scheduled picking date, check for ripeness by sampling some fruit. Most citrus won’t ripen after it’s picked. If it isn’t ready, reschedule to save repeat visits.
  • Bag all citrus tree trimmings and put them into the garbage rather than into green waste. This will help slow the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

Farmers & Growers

You’re Protected

We train, supervise, and hold liability coverage for all volunteers who glean with us. The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act:

  • Protects you from civil and criminal liability should a product donated in good faith cause harm
  • Standardizes donor liability exposure
  • Sets a floor of “gross negligence” or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products
Crews join forces to harvest large orchards.
We harvest large properties through repeat visits or partnering with other groups.

Types of Crops We Glean

  • Quality produce that is not commercially viable
  • Weather-damaged crops
  • Produce from bypassed fields
  • Non-machine harvestable crops
  • Pollinator trees
  • Secondary growth

We will also pick up crops that have already been harvested and work with partner agencies to handle large volumes.
Food donors may be eligible for state and federal tax deductions or tax credits. We mail a detailed receipt for tax return purposes. Read instructions about deductions and credits.

Ways to Donate

Donate Directly

We don’t charge for our voluntary services, relying totally on donations to fund our operations. Senior Gleaners of San Diego County is a 501(c)3 non-profit with EIN: 33-0571701.

You can help by donating funds with a check or PayPal.

To pay with a debit or credit card, also go to PayPal and click: Donate with Debit or Credit Card.

Mail a check to:
Senior Gleaners
PO Box 600521
San Diego, CA 92160

For other ways to donate contact:

Use the last four digits of our phone number–9180–to direct funds on Venmo to Senior Gleaners.

Benevity connects corporations to nonprofits by sending employee contributions (often matched by the employer) directly to worthy causes.

Use Your IRA Distribution

Consider rolling over part of your IRA’s required minimum distribution to us. You will pay no income tax on your gift. Contact your IRA plan administrator to transfer funds to Senior Gleaners. The funds are excluded from your adjusted gross income.

Other Ways to Support

Spread the Word

  • Request a quantity of our brochures to distribute in your neighborhood, community centers and libraries. They are available in both English and Spanish. Download or link to copies from our Documents page.
  • Keep informed–tell friends and family what we are doing
  • Like us on Facebook
Promote Senior Gleaners at community events.

Help with Other Needs

  • Donate a truck or van for hauling produce and groceries
  • Help repair and maintain our existing vehicles
  • Provide new or used orchard ladders, pruning shears, and buckets

Share Skills and Talents

  • Join our board, which meets quarterly. Members work on projects matching their skills and interests and need not be over 55 years of age
  • Staff displays at community events or give presentations to civic groups
  • Help with marketing, photography, connecting with news media or other outreach efforts

Recommend a Grant

We apply for grants from numerous organizations to help us deliver on our mission. Please contact us if you know of a grant we would benefit from.

Donate a Vehicle

The CARS vehicle donation program accepts nearly any kind of vehicle—running or not—from most U.S. locations. (Tell friends and family in other states.) Call or use the online form to schedule a free pickup.

Make a Bequest

We are thankful to people who have made bequests to Senior Gleaners in their wills. Please notify us when you specify funds for Senior Gleaners of San Diego County.

Set Up a Fundraiser

Organize fundraisers benefiting Senior Gleaners in lieu of gifts for birthdays, holidays or other occasions. Better still, create a matching gift fund to encourage other donations.

Donate A Vehicle Using CARS

Donate a Vehicle — Just like board member Joe Strasser

Yellow car resembling an SUV

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.

Support Senior Gleaners and take care of that unwanted vehicle. Donors pay no fees and receive credit for tax deductions.

Start the easy process online or by phone: Toll-free at (855) 500-RIDE or (855) 500-7433.

CARS organization logo

CARS accepts most types of vehicles (running or not) including cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers, off-road vehicles, planes, heavy equipment, farm machinery and most other motorized vehicles including ATVs and personal watercraft.

CARS handles all the paperwork to sell the vehicle, sends you a receipt for tax purposes, and mails proceeds to Senior Gleaners.

CARS operates nationwide. Tell your friends in other states that Senior Gleaners can receive funds from any location.

With Gratitude

Resident Donors

A number of residents give us a check or cash at the time of a glean or mail donations afterwards.

Volunteers and Family Members

Our volunteers not only dedicate their time and talent but are a main source of donations, along with their family members. Besides direct cash donations and bequests, they donate vehicles and conduct individual fund-raisers.

Chen Family
The Chen family exemplifies the generosity of our volunteers and family members. Nancy Chen, far right, gives hundreds of hours yearly as a crew leader and grocery hauler along with cash donations. Her son Mitch’s family makes generous donations regularly. (Photo by Mitch Chen)

Recent Grants

We appreciate the support of the organizations listed below who have helped fund our operations.

Las Patronas organization logo

Las Patronas, founded in 1946, is committed to providing financial assistance to nonprofits in San Diego County that provide community services in the areas of health, education, social services and cultural arts. Senior Gleaners has received two grants from this philanthropic organization.

San Diego Awards $11,000 for Van

The City of San Diego has awarded $11,000 to Senior Gleaners to help
purchase a second van to help the North County region haul fruit and
unsold groceries. The Community Projects, Programs & Services funds
are pending city council approval in early 2024.

Senior Gleaners learned about this source of funding when Board
President Margaret Burton and Vice President Daryush Bastani visited
with city council member Jennifer Campbell at a summer event.

It’s in the Bag! Jimbo’s Wooden Nickel Program rewards customers who reuse their bags. Jimbo’s shares the money saved on bag purchases with local charities–chosen each quarter. Jimbo’s has selected Senior Gleaners more than once and has donated gift cards for special events.

Johnson & Johnson Western Region Retiree Association

This charity supports elder health in the 15 western states funded by corporate retiree donations.

The group has generously funded the purchase of ladders, leather gloves and fuel.

The San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization (CECO) has bestowed many annual grants over the years. Funded by employee donations, CECO has been lending a hand to the local community since 1956, distributing 100% of donations to non-profits and employees in need. Several of our volunteers are former county employees who donated to the fund while working.

Pacifica Synod logo

Lutheran Church Pacifica Synod – The Matthew 25 Fund of the Evangelical Lutheran Church has bestowed many annual grants. It was created by Jerry and Lynda Engelhardt to help the hungry and homeless and others in need–as described in Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat….”

If you know of an organization we should partner with please reach out to:

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