The Hollywood Gleaners have been so successful that they need a commercial refrigerator to store all the donations they collect each week! They are holding a fundraiser in the market this Saturday, 9/22, and the Hollywood Farmers Market will match your donations up to $1000!
The Hollywood Gleaners are entirely volunteer run and find a way to use each and every donated item. Continue reading to find more information about what they do and then visit them in the market to make your donation!
Strolling through the market, you may have noticed a group of people wandering around in black aprons chatting with vendors. You may also have seen them enjoying some of the delightful cooked fare at the tables. What you probably haven’t seen is that group in action.
The group is called the Hollywood Gleaners, and they are a group of volunteers who collect unsold food and produce from the market. All food that is collected is distributed to low income seniors in the neighborhood through a partnership between the Hollywood Senior Center, the Fook-Lok location of Loaves and Fishes, and of course, the Hollywood Farmers Market.
Hollywood Gleaners began in 2011, to address the increasing need for seniors to gain access to high quality food that would otherwise be unaffordable. Through careful brainstorming between all of the involved groups, it was decided that the program would need to address hunger for both cooking and non-cooking seniors, to be able to handle large amounts of food with as little waste as possible, and to be designed for ultimate sustainability. Those goals still define the project.
Since May of 2011, Gleaners have collected over 20,000 pounds of food for seniors. In addition to distributing food directly to people in need, volunteers freeze or preserve food that otherwise wouldn’t make it from Saturday until Monday without spoiling. Last November found volunteers using vegetable scraps for broth and frozen vegetables and sausages for soup that was served to the seniors for their Thanksgiving meal. A recent group of college volunteers created a mixed fruit jam from last year’s frozen fruit. Waste not, want not!
Due to the enormous amounts of the food Gleaners work with week-to-week, it has become evident that the program is in dire need of additional refrigeration. This season the group has relied on one residential-sized refrigerator at the Senior Center and the generosity of Grocery Outlet, who has consistently stored produce until Monday morning when Senior Center staff can collect it. Classic Foods also kindly stored hundreds of pounds of produce on a particularly productive day.
To continue on as a sustainable program, Hollywood Gleaners needs a commercial refrigerator.
This Saturday, the Hollywood Farmers Market will host a fundraiser titled “Fill the Fridge”, to help buy our refrigerator. In addition to providing space, HFM will match donations up to $1,000. Please come visit and make your donation to this meaningful and necessary program.
No donation is too small and can be made by cash, check, or card. All donations will be tax deductible. For more information about Gleaners check them out at their website or contact Heather and Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.