Community Food Gleaning

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Our area is teeming with old unmanaged apple orchards free of sprays, and not enough pickers. Left untouched it becomes food waste. When there is coordination to organize a collection/rescue operation, it can be redistributed or preserved or sold.

Since 2014, the Community Food Gleaning program aims to glean good food, that would otherwise not be used, and connect to those who can best benefit. The harvests are shared between the landowner, volunteers, food bank or similar charity, and generating revenue to run the program. Food harvested is distributed through local food banks and community food programs. Some of the produce collected is processed into value-added products, such as apple sauce, which is shared amongst volunteers, distributed through community food programs and sold through local markets.

The establishment of fruit tree gleaning programs are running successfully in many cities. Meaford as a rural model centred on apples, is comparatively fruit-heavy, and volunteer deficient compared to the established urban fruit tree picking programs.

The following roles are needed for the program’s success:

  • admin/coordination: surplus source, volunteer coordination, linking surplus with volunteers, insurance, reporting, supplies
  • fruit collection from September through November
  • food delivery: storage, food bank, sales
  • food processing: community kitchen space, some of our products
  • potential for partnerships with other Grey Bruce organizations

Contact Ivan or Simona at for more information or want to get more involved.

We are also (occasionally) on Facebook as the Grey Bruce Food Gleaning Group.

Watch a recording of our March 29, 2021 6:30pm -7:30pm webinar at:


We would like to acknowledge the following local landowners who have generously permitted us to glean from their orchards for many years:

  • Steven Ormsby
  • David Galbraith
  • Margaret Rochester
  • Candi Yeandle