Give Back to Your Community

The demand for food exceeds the supply and we need volunteers to help us make a difference.

San Diego Hunger Coalition estimates that approximately 1 in 3 San Diegans is unable to provide three nutritious meals per day for themselves and/or their families.

Gleaners picking fruits from an oragne tree.
Most volunteers serve 3 – 4 hours/week — but we have no required minimum. Some mini-crews set their own schedules.

Senior Gleaners could pick and distribute more food if only we had more volunteers. Our volunteers pick, sort, and deliver surplus fruit and unsold groceries to more than 40 food distributors including: Lutheran Social Services, the San Diego Food Bank, Heaven’s Windows, Jewish Family Service Center, the Salvation Army, Community Christian Service Agency, Interfaith Community Service, and Lakeside Christian Helps Center.

Senior Gleaners is always in need of more volunteers, board members, and van drivers

Find out how you can make a difference

Welcome New Volunteers

Get Started

Before registering as a new volunteer, please read our Terms of Participation. You will find a button for the online volunteer registration form at the bottom of the required reading, which helps you be an informed and productive new team member.

Dress Like A Gleaner

Margaret Burton sews hats, shirts, and zippered hoodies
, and Daryush Bastani manages sales and distribution. Sales benefit Senior Gleaners. Click to order gleaner apparel.

Assignment to Gleans

Your crew leader will email you details about gleans in your area. Check your inbox regularly. Gleans and cancellations may be announced on short notice. Most crews glean on Tuesday mornings. We add more days during peak harvest season.

Form or Join A Mini Crew

Some gleaners enjoy working in small groups with family members or friends. They get assignments from a crew leader, set their own schedules, and deliver the harvest to nearby sites. If this sounds good to you, please discuss it with your crew leader.

Give Gleaning A Try

Want to check us out before committing?

Want To Know More?

Read the New Gleaner FAQs.

Registered Volunteers

Registered volunteers, click the button below to:

  • See your attendance history at gleans and events
  • Update your contact information
  • Change the password you created when you registered as a volunteer

Volunteer Forms & Documents

New Gleaner FAQs

How will I get assignments?

Your crew leader will email you the address and helpful information about tools, vehicle entry, or parking. Inform your crew leader immediately if you can’t attend.

What should I bring to the glean?

  • Bring water and take care of any restroom needs before arriving.
  • What to wear:
    • Sunblock and a sturdy hat.
    • A long-sleeved shirt and long pants—with heavy fabric.
    • Comfortable closed-toe shoes.
    • Heavy duty gloves—many trees are thorny.

Do I need to bring equipment or tools?

Bring any picking pole, pruning shears, or large buckets you may have. Your crew will have extra items at the glean.

Has the produce been sprayed with chemicals?

Gleans occur at a variety of properties. We always ask the property owner whether or not their fruit has been sprayed. Ask your crew leader if you are concerned.

Do I have to stay for the entire time?

It is preferred, but not required, for you to stay for the duration of the glean. Since space is limited at many sites, we ask that you register to glean only when you can arrive on time and stay until the work is done. Most gleans last no more than three hours. If you need to arrive late or leave early, notify your crew leader.

How do I keep up to date on Senior Gleaners activities?

Join the private Facebook group for volunteers. The administrator will approve requests from any registered Senior Gleaners volunteer within a day or two.

How do grocery crews operate?

Some volunteers use their own vehicles to collect unsold food at grocery stores and haul it to distribution agencies. Others join two- or three-person crews using a Senior Gleaners van. Most volunteers work one morning per week on routes near their home.

Some volunteers drive their own vehicles to collect unsold groceries.

Do crews work year-round?

Fruit harvesting crews are busiest during the peak season from January through June when some crews schedule gleans on two or three mornings weekly. Grocery crews work on a set schedule year-round.

Is there a required number of hours to volunteer?

We have no minimum weekly or monthly requirements. We appreciate your service whenever you are available.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

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

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