Resources for setting up and developing your Gleaning group

5. Redistribution


Once you have a farm to glean from and volunteers to harvest the produce, you will need an organisation who are able to take some or all of the produce.

Gleaned food donations are very unusual – one type of produce, usually perishable, delivered in a series of largely irregular times in very large quantities.


One tonne of fruit or vegetables in most cases translates to about 12,500 portions… so that’s a lot of people to feed!


FareShare are a great redistribution charity who have large enough facilities to pick up and store large quantities of food. If you are keen to use FareShare, please read the below document for best practice.

Other beneficiaries

Other redistribution charities like The Felix Project and City Harvest are also key allies of the gleaning project.

Reach out to smaller charities close to the farm (homeless shelters, community kitchens etc.). See if they’d like to attend the glean and take back some of the produce with them, or if any volunteers could drop off the surplus.

Some criteria to consider:

  • Does the charity have space to store the produce (especially cold storage for more perishable goods)?
  • Can the charity redistribute the produce before the quality is too compromised?
  • Are they happy to take one type of food?
  • Are they able to pick up the gleaned produce, or be open to receive the produce at the end of the day of the glean?
    • If they cannot receive or collect the food until the next day, check with the farmer to see if they mind if it is stored over night at the farm

Transport Logistics

Logistics for Transporting Produce to Beneficiaries

Vehicles, drivers and crates

In an ideal world, the beneficiary organisation to whom you are donating the gleaned food will have their own (1) van, (2) driver and (3) crates and will be able to the (4) leave the van onsite all day to be loaded. This is not always the case, so here are some possible options:

  1. Borrow or rent a van:
    • Always check if companies have a charity rate.
    • Ask community groups if you can borrow their transport
    • Check with volunteer drivers (they may have large cars!)
  2. Find a driver:
    • The charity may have a van but not driver, in this case you may be able to register a volunteer as a driver (always check individual insurance policies).
    • If you are renting/borrowing a van, you or a volunteer will need to be registered as a driver (reach out to the volunteers to ask if someone is willing to drive)
  3. Borrow crates:
    • Ask the farmer if you can borrow crates
  4. If the beneficiary is sending a vehicle & driver, but they cannot stay on site for the duration of the glean, make sure the driver can arrive with enough time to get the van loaded at the end of the day.
Food Waste Fact

Supermarkets control 85% of the market share of UK grocery stores (Mckevitt 2017)

Other Avenues for Surplus

Social Media

Wherever your surplus ends up, try to get a photo or two of the produce being put to good use. This is great promotion for your events but will also be useful for future reporting and funding bids

Social Enterprise and commercial outlets

It’s good to prioritise donating gleaned produce to charity, however, it might be that there are social enterprises in your area who are using surplus produce. Always check with the farmer first to make sure they are OK with this option. Some of the companies we have worked with in the past include:


Organising a community event is a great way to use the surplus. Feedback have run several events in the past which we call ‘Disco Chops’, which is a fun way to get the produce out into the community via communal cooking! We have a toolkit for running such events here.

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