On June 17th, 2010, friends gathered at the Lexington Farmers Market to glean for the very first time. That day, a partnership was formed that would forever change the work of those farming and feeding in Central Kentucky.
Over the course of that first summer, farmers learned they no longer had to haul unsold produce back to their farms or plow under their harvest at the end of the season. Appreciative that the literal fruits of their labor weren’t going to waste, the farmers at the Lexington Farmers Market donated over 16,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Since that first growing season, our partnership with the Lexington Farmers Market has grown. Now, the 75+ members of the Market have come to expect the gleaners to arrive each Sunday, often stacking up boxes of donated produce before volunteers arrive. Over 10 members have invited gleaners out to their fields to help with additional gleaning projects as well.
Produce from the Lexington Farmers Market has supplemented over 15 feeding programs in Fayette County since 2010. This year, GleanKY forged a partnership with the Valley Park Activity Board to create a centralized drop off of market produce in Valley Park.
Every Sunday after the Market closed, gleaners delivered local produce to the park, providing area residents with consistent, reliable access to fresh produce. In total, almost 14,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed to our food-insecure neighbors in Cardinal Valley this year.
Like so many of our partnerships, the community impact doesn’t end there. Will Anglin, President of the Cardinal Valley Park Activity Board, summarizes the benefits of bringing people together around healthy food well. “The park used to be in a pretty rough neighborhood and now it’s not so bad anymore.”
While this year’s market season has come to a close, we look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come with the help of people like you! Support this partnership and over 60 more by donating today: razoo.com/gleaning4KY