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(article, Caroline Cummins)
Food banks do great work. But as we've reported before, they're getting squeezed in the donations department. Which is why gleaners — folks and organizations focused on sharing not just donated but leftover food, produce, and the like — are also necessary. More than a decade ago, the New York Times reported on the growing role of organized gleaning groups, which shared leftover agricultural wealth with the hungry. Nationwide, many states and regions have formal gleaning nonprofits, sometimes called "food recovery organizations." Indiana, for example, has a group called simply Gleaners. Detroit has Forgotten Harvest and the Gleaners Community Food Bank. California has the Golden Empire Gleaners. And Washington state has the Gleaners Coalition, which has been working lately to help local farms devastated by recent floods. The Slow Movement website offers tips on starting a local gleaning organization. An easy beginning? Picking up fallen fruit and sharing it with your neighbors.