My family needs a lot of practice when it comes to serving others. It is something we each love to do but it often times does not come naturally. So over the summer we look for intentional ways to have fun while helping others in our community. One of our favorite ways to do this is by gleaning fields for the homeless.
If you recall the Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz you may be familiar with gleaning. The wealthy Boaz felt compassion for a widow named Ruth and allowed her to glean his fields after they had been harvested. This generosity still exists today.
There is a national organization called Society of St. Andrew (www.EndHunger.org) from which people of all faiths, civil organizations, and groups volunteer to help alleviate hunger through gleaning the fields of America. There are roughly 40 million Americans hungry and the USDA estimates that around 25% of American crops are never made available for people to eat. Much of that uneaten food is left in the fields after harvest.
Farms across America have been offering up these leftover crops for volunteer gleaners to come and pick. The crops are then given to the homeless and hungry. Our family has gleaned corn and citrus but today was all about blueberries!!!
We rolled out of bed and had an impromptu desire to go gleaning. You can sign up here for an email listing of local gleaning opportunities in your area. There was a 2 day blueberry project about 30 minutes away with our name on it.
We picked, ate, and compared buckets.
(and yes, Palmer currently wears this hat at ALL times…and Campbell is in Year 4 of wearing his shirts backwards. Love it.)
We removed the green and mushy blueberries and then filled ziplock baggies.
At the farm today, our team of 20 gleaners picked 220 pounds of blueberries. Hurray!
This is a fabulous opportunity for children to help others in their community that is so much fun! The website again is www.EndHunger.org
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