Apple Gleaning in Sussex
What is Gleaning?
Gleaning works to reduce farm-level food waste by rescuing surplus fruit and veg from fields after the commercial harvest. Much of this either doesn't meet supermarket standards or has been left behind because of a shortage of labour - the most "perfect" are picked first and the slightly smaller, more awkwardly placed or misshapen fruit which are still nutritious and good to eat, stay on the tree.
7 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat and 2 million tonnes of good-to-eat food is discarded each year (FareShare, 2022). Charities like Feedback and FareShare are key to coordinating gleaning efforts and ensuring that surplus fruit and veg isn't wasted by redistributing it to the people who need it most.
It’s a brilliant initiative and, given the current cost-of-living crisis causing the need for food to skyrocket, one that's more important than ever before. With a handful of other volunteers, we filled over 100 crates of fresh, juicy apples – that’s 1.4 tonnes that would have gone to waste .
These will now get distributed by FareShare Sussex to local charities and community projects supporting vulnerable people across Sussex.
Seeing the boxes stacked high was a stark reminder of the real issue we're fighting, but it was great to know they were going to a good home. We couldn’t recommend it more.
Find your local gleaning group here.