2020 could be the year farm level food waste peaks due to the huge disruption to the food system from the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile demand for food banks and emergency food distribution has hit a level of need that signifies a crisis. Whilst these two issues are distinct and one cannot resolve the other, gleaning offers an opportunity for straightforward environmental and social wins- whereby food waste on farms is reduced and supply of fresh food to those in need is increased.
In an effort to spread gleaning nationwide, Feedback will be hosting a series of 4 training webinars for community groups who are interested in initiating, or are at the early stages of setting up, a local gleaning group. The weekly webinars begin on 19th of August and will run through to 10th of September – if your organisation is interested in taking part then we’d love to hear from you.
Focus of the webinars
The first webinar will be an introduction to gleaning and the role it can play in reducing farm level food waste and supplying wholesale volumes of fresh produce to organisations supporting people in food insecurity in 2020.
The second and third webinars will cover the “how to”s of gleaning, including practical and logistical aspects of distributing food and the recruiting, supervising and safety of volunteers.
The final webinar will be about supporting your organisation to get it’s gleaning operation established and ways that you can build your volunteer network, obtain funding and different ways of affiliating your work.
These webinars build on the Gleaning Toolkit, published last year, illustrated with stories of success and lessons from failures. The webinars will be led by Phil Holtam and James Turner, who are experienced Feedback gleaning coordinators. We will also have guest gleaners to hear from their experiences and commercial growers who have hosted the Gleaning Network in the past. We intend for sessions to be dynamic and there will be the chance for discussions, questions and getting to hear about the work of other participants.
To keep the webinars participatory, diverse and open to as many groups as possible, 2 members from each group will be welcome to attend.
Follow up support
Following the webinars, financial support is able to be provided to help groups with the cost of getting off the ground, including for travel and equipment expenses.