Why do you give to Glean?


We have asked this question almost annually to our donors. We have found there is so much to our mission and our work resonates with everyone differently. This Kentucky Gives Day, we see every reason you give to Glean Kentucky. Your dollars donated will go towards all aspects of our mission and the reason you support us.


“To Minimize Food Waste.”

A common statistic that Glean Kentucky shares is 40% of all food goes to waste in the United States. Kentucky is included in this number. A majority of all food wasted comes from the production side. The reason for the food waste could be over production, bumper crops, changes in consumer habits, and produce not meeting consumer expectations. We work with local food sources, from grocery stores to farms, to collect excess fruits and vegetables. Glean Kentucky’s busiest months are July through September with a very busy week in mid November. Glean see’s an influx of calls from local farmers requesting Glean Kentucky volunteers save their hard work from becoming waste. We work with farmers when they end up growing more than they can sell. We also work with them during natural weather cycles, more specifically before the first freezes of the incoming winter damage their crops.



“Their Work is Good for the Environment.”

Glean Kentucky is unique in the type of work that is being done. In 2023, Glean Kentucky rescued 165,000 pounds of nutritious food from becoming waste. A report from the EPA in 2021 reported that, “170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (million MTCO2e) GHG emissions (excluding landfill emissions) – equal to the annual CO2 emissions of 42 coal-fired power plants.” Food waste calculates to around 22% of all landfill usage. Although Glean Kentucky is not making huge changes nationally, in Kentucky it is a different story. Since being founded in 2010, Glean Kentucky has rescued over 2.5 million pounds of food. Additionally, any food that is rescued, yet not for consumption, has been redirected to composting programs and donated to small urban farms for feed.




“Everyone deserves access to nutritious food.” and “It Benefits the Other Organizations I Support.”

1 in 7 Kentuckians face food insecurity on a daily basis. Food insecurity doesn’t discriminate. No matter age, ethnicity, income, or education level, food insecurity is possible with one life changing event. During COVID-19 and the rise in inflation, Glean Kentucky’s partnered feeding programs saw an increase in demand from the community. Many of the new clients were turning to resources for the first time in their life. The need continues in 2024. A perk of focusing on fresh produce is that it provides nutrition in that moment and all demographics can enjoy fresh produce, especially those with different cultural and religious backgrounds that restrict what can be consumed. With an increase in need, many of our partnered programs have relied on Glean Kentucky more. In fact, in 2022, 73% of the agencies served said Glean Kentucky was their only source of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, many of the programs have used Glean Kentucky produce in outreach programs and to serve more people.




No matter the reason, you give to Glean because of our mission. Every dollar raised works to impact the local food system and improve the environment. It supports the work that empowers local feeding agencies to serve more people nutritious food. Learn more about our current needs, and to donate at gleanky.org/give.