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USU’s gleaning program looking for volunteers, harvest locations to address local food insecurity

Greg Eaton picks apricots from a tree in North Logan on Friday.
Eli Lucero
The Herald Journal
Greg Eaton picks apricots from a tree in North Logan on Friday.

The Cache Community Gleaning program at Utah State University has begun another season of harvesting fruits and vegetables for local food pantries. This year, Program Director Kate Markman is hopeful to garner new volunteers, as well as new locations to glean, to better tackle food insecurity issues in the Cache Valley area.

The gleaning program contributes food to the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC) at USU and also the Cache Community Food Bank. Volunteers harvest between 100 to 1,000 pounds of produce per gleaning session, Markman said, explaining hauls are much larger when apples are in season. There are currently around 200 gleaning locations registered with the program.

The produce is given a grade — either an A or a B. Grade A produce is donated as is, while grade B is processed for consumption. On average, Markman said, the program gleans between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds of produce per season that otherwise may have been wasted.

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This story is made possible thanks to a community reporting partnership between The Herald Journal and Utah Public Radio.