Gleaning, also known as harvesting extra fruit or vegetables (usually for those in need) has been around for centuries and it is a great way to work outside and give back to the community. During Zero Waste Week in February, for the past four years, Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) has organized volunteers for gleaning events that have saved almost 7,000 pounds of fruit that was then donated to local food assistance agencies!
Three volunteers from that event were inspired to continue gleaning and donating fruit to Castro Valley food pantries, so they contacted CVSan. With a little information and two fruit pickers donated by CVSan, Grazyna Fedorowicz, her daughter Agata and son Adam set out to glean on their own.
Beginning in March 2020, the family has been gleaning grapefruit, lemons, loquats, and oranges from authorized Castro Valley trees and donating the fruit to local charities, including Feed the Flock Program at Faith Lutheran Church, Tiny Homes at First Presbyterian Church, and the Farm-acy Program at Dig Deep Farms Food Hub in San Leandro. What they have done is impressive.