We’re so grateful for the work our volunteers do, and that’s remained true throughout the last couple months. We asked one of our newest volunteers, Alaina Nettro, to share about her experience gleaning during this time:
I began Gleaning in February 2020. I was looking for community service opportunities and saw Glean Kentucky mentioned on the popular website Reddit. After some brief research, I signed up and began volunteering as soon as I could. I was not sure what I should expect; however, to my delight, I found an organization providing a way to help that I immediately fell in love with. I love seeing the smiles I get when I say “Hi, I’m with Glean.” Immediately people start moving and enthusiastically shouting “Glean’s here!” Whether receiving or dropping off the produce, everyone is thankful that Glean is here. The simple idea that we can come together as a community to provide fresh food to those in need while diminishing food waste is a remarkable service we give.
Once the pandemic hit, I was seriously concerned about the amount of food we would be able to provide due to the large amounts of products becoming quickly unavailable. I had picked up 700lbs of produce from Costco a few weeks before, but during the beginning of the pandemic I only received 48lbs. I was heartbroken and worried. Yet, I knew that all we could do to help was to keep Gleaning and hope determination would prevail – which it did. My last Costco trip had over 2000lbs! It is exciting to be a part of an organization that gives back to our community in such a simple yet impactful way.
Thanks to inspiration from Glean, on May 1st I will fly to Boston to work in a field hospital helping those that tested positive for COVID-19 recover. I was working in Lexington as a Nurse’s Aide in a hospital unit that did not currently admit COVID-19 patients. I found it difficult to be an “essential worker” and yet not be able to provide relief to those experiencing difficulties in this pandemic. Working in health care has taught me that hospitals are scary to the untrained eye. Due to strict family visitation restrictions, I want to work where I can hold the hands of COVID-19 patients, so they do not feel they are battling this alone. I also want to help those healthcare workers who are already overworked because their units began admitting COVID-19 patients as soon as the pandemic began. While this trip does make me nervous, I feel empowered to get out there and help in any way I can. Upon return, I plan to begin Gleaning again. I hope that most states’ peaks have passed so we can continue to deliver more produce and feed our community together!