So, finally, after a few months of projects and Texas heat, we were able to take the Live Lightly RV out to Mineola, TX and camp for the weekend. We made it to Mineola Friday evening and came back on Sunday afternoon, exhausted but happy. We volunteered with a gleaning group first thing sat morning, hung out at the Golden Sweet Potato Festival that afternoon, and enjoyed a great lunch in downtown Mineola on Sunday.
We had already planned a gleaning project with The Gleaning Network of Texas for that Saturday. It was their annual Sweet Potato Round-Up just north of Alba and Golden, TX to glean thousands of pounds of sweet potatoes for delivery to local food agencies, pantries, and other needy organizations. Over 30,000 lbs were collected!
“If approximately 20% of all produce grown in the state goes to waste before reaching the processor or grocery store, then 325 million pounds of fresh, nutritious, edible produce are available to help feed hungry Texans. The Gleaning Network of Texas salvages this surplus produce that fails to meet market standards in size, color, or shape for pennies per pound and distributes it to agencies with food assistance programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.”
We’ve been wanting to get involved in gleaning for quite a while now, and it was the perfect event for us to do that. We were able to take back around 250 lbs of potatoes to Hope’s Door in Plano where they were distributed to several families. Parks had a great time on the farm, he filled a couple of bags worth of potatoes with Jeff, then decided it was time to play with his dump trucks. Thank goodness we took those, he was in heaven for the rest of our time at the farm. Dirt and more dirt, perfect! It kept him busy while Jeff helped the other volunteers load the truckbeds. It was a great experience and a project that will definitely become a major focus of our mission in the coming months. I’ve found some great websites that can put you in touch with gleaning groups in your area if you are interested in getting involved in this process of food recovery for the hungry.
- Society of St. Andrew-A Christian ministry dedicated to gleaning America’s fields and feeding America’s hungry
- National Hunger Clearinghouse Resource Page-resource site for gleaning groups around the country
- Helping Hands Gleaning Ministry (TX)-another gleaning ministry in TX
- Feeding America -great resource site for finding food distribution programs in your area
Check out the Sweet Potato Round-Up photos here.
Our stay at Somewhere RV park in Mineola was great. The owners, Jan and Don Nicholas, were wonderful people to visit with and we even scored some sweet potato casserole from Jan. I can handle that! It was a great park, please check it out if you are close to the Tyler area. It’s very close to Mineola’s quaint downtown with restaurants, a movie theater, and gift shops. Marley even got to meet her twin, Lucy, and you can check out that fun and the rest of our weekend pics here.
” When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:9,10
Please leave a comment if you have any questions about gleaning and I’d love to try to answer them for you. Peace and blessings to all of you this fall season…..