Sydney Wilk is still fairly new to volunteering with GleanKY, but has already had some great experiences in her time with us. Read on to learn about her experiences:
‘When I first heard the concept of gleaning I instantly loved the idea of distributing excess produce to those who did not have access to it and who were eager to receive. Being a firm believer in the accessibility of fresh produce for all and not only a select few, I knew this opportunity was something I wanted to be a part of. I had been wanting to be more involved with community organizations that were centered around agriculture and nutrition, so GleanKY was a perfect match!
While I’m still relatively new to gleaning, I’ve already had some memorable moments. One instance stands out in particular—the day I crammed over 300 pounds of various fruits and vegetables into my little car! The best part about receiving such a large donation was seeing the reaction from the recipients on the other end. As I carried in the first box of produce, a couple of the waiting customers promptly followed me back out to see if I needed help bringing the rest inside, and were shocked at the bursting display before them. Without question, they started helping unload box after box from my trunk and then went back to patiently waiting in line while we organized the assortment. I had not expected the delivery to be as smooth of a process with the abundance we received, but it was exactly that. Everyone came together effortlessly and it made the entire experience that much more enjoyable.
Likewise, I have found each donation source to be willing and helpful in gathering produce items for donation, as well as eager to have someone take them off their hands. It has made me aware that I am not only aiding the people who are receiving the unwanted produce, but those that donate the items too. The impact is two sided. Most retailers don’t want to pointlessly waste food, they are forced to when they have no other option. So, for me volunteering isn’t only about providing those in need with fresh, nutritious food, it’s also a way that I can directly impact the lives of my neighbors. For when we realize that by helping someone else we are in turn helping ourselves, it provides an entirely new outlook to the activities we fill our lives with each day.’