Nonprofit's newest partnership involves harvesting unwanted produce for food insecure families
Online PR News – 07-August-2020 – St. Louis, MO – Operation Food Search (OFS) and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) recently created the Greater St. Louis Area Gleaning Program where a team of volunteers harvest or pick up already harvested unwanted food from a farm. The donated gleaned food is then quickly distributed to food insecure individuals and families in the region.
The program, which is designed to reduce food loss on local farms, brings volunteers to harvest what farmers cannot on their own. Gleaning increases access to healthy and fresh local food for those individuals and families experiencing food insecurity .
OFS recently hosted a volunteer gleaning event at Three Rivers Community Farm located in Elsah, Ill. The 14-year-old Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm provides organically-grown produce for the Riverbend and St. Louis area. Thirteen volunteers harvested 224 pounds of potatoes, 180 pounds of slicing tomatoes, and 160 pounds of cherry tomatoes. The produce was distributed to OFS’s network of more than 200 food pantries located throughout the bi-state region.
“Our community has truly stepped up and extended their generosity to those who need it most,” said OFS Executive Director Kristen Wild. “Partners like Three Rivers Community Farm enable us to provide families with fresh food that would otherwise be wasted. We are very grateful for their support in alleviating food insecurity during the summer months.”
Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties. For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit http://www.OperationFoodSearch.org.