What a glorious Saturday morning it was…lots of sunshine with enough chill in the soft breeze to keep active bodies cooled. Good thing, because under sunhats and sunscreen Kathleen and I were headed on behalf of San Benito Bounty for the 2009 Opening Day for the gleaning season, organized by Ag Against Hunger, an organization founded to provide hungry people with nutritious, fresh, surplus produce from local fields, more than 150 million pounds in the last almost 20 years! Their network of tri-county (San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz) food banks makes free produce available to more than 240 nonprofit human service agencies and feeds 75,000 low-income people in the tri-county area each month. Millions more are served by the program throughout California and the West Coast. The recipients of this produce are of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities and abilities.
We gleaned spring onions, with dark purple bulbs and perky green tops, redolent in their famous odor, for three hours. Sixty volunteers filled two truckloads of onions which had been deemed too small for the commercial market. We literally plucked these from their fate of being plowed back into the ground, and now they will provide flavor and nutrition for someone I never met but am able to love from a distance. Now how cool is that? If you would like to be part of this project, check out http://www.agagainsthunger.org/