Farmers' Market Gleaner
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Heartside Gleaning Initiative

Farmers' Market Gleaner

You’ll meet a group of fellow gleaners downtown at 1:15 p.m. and be given a Heartside Gleaning Initiative shirt to wear for the day. (Swag alert!) Everyone carpools to the Fulton Street Farmers Market to collect donated produce from generous farmers, then meets back up at the truck to weigh and record the items. Then the group heads back to Heartside and sets up a table at Guiding Light for people to freely take the produce, swap recipes, explain what certain veggies are, etc. Other drop-offs are made at God’s Kitchen, United Church Outreach Ministries, The Other Way, and Degage Ministries. This year's gleaning dates for Saturdays, June 2 through October 13.

Show me how to get started
3 hours on a Saturday (1:15-4:30 p.m.); no ongoing commitment required
Ability to lift heavy boxes of produce
Heartside, Midtown
Local farmers' markets and downtown Grand Rapids

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You don’t mind going up to people and meeting them. Plus, you’ve always been interested in meeting the farmers and getting to know where their food comes from anyway! You love the hustle and bustle of the Farmer’s Market. You’re willing to lend your physical prowess to carry fresh, healthy food in order to make a difference in the lives of others. You feel that everyone you meet has dignity and worth—and probably a recipe you want to hear about!

About Heartside Gleaning Initiative

Heartside Gleaning Initiative empowers Heartside and surrounding Grand Rapids communities to become healthier through increased access to healthy foods and nutrition education. They collect excess produce from farmers’ markets and transport it to the low-income neighborhood of Heartside for distribution to individuals, food pantries and free and low-cost meal programs.

  • Heartside Gleaning Green Veggies
  • Heartside Gleaning Group
  • Heartside Gleaning Woman

What Others are Saying

The first time I volunteered, I was hooked and kept coming back. Each week the number of vegetables that were being donated by the farmers grew; in the end, we gleaned more than 17,000 pounds of vegetables. I was amazed at how much the farmers were willing to give. I think this is a great program not only because it gives a chance for the farmers to give back, but also enables people who can't afford vegetables to have a chance to live a healthy lifestyle.


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Heartside Gleaning Initiative directly.

What to Expect

Fill out this form to sign up for an upcoming gleaning date (through October 13), and founder Lisa Sisson will get back to you about getting started. On your first day, there will be a quick on-site orientation and a waiver form to sign.