Frequently Asked Questions – Donations

The Columbia Gorge Gleaning Project was started in 2015 during Ford Family Institute Leadership Training Program in Hood River.

Gorge Gleaning covers five counties of the Columbia River Gorge in both Oregon and Washington including Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania.

Q: What do we glean?

A: We rescue locally grown fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains that would otherwise go to waste.

Q: Where do we glean?

A: We glean from farms, farmers markets, farm stands, orchards, community gardens, and backyards in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania County.

Q: Where does the food go?

A: Trained volunteers pick, box, and distribute the excess produce to a network of hunger-relief sites. Food pantries, community meals, shelters, senior centers, after-school organizations, and WIC offices – among many others – are our partners in preventing hunger, improving nutrition, and building a resilient, inclusive food system for all.

Gleaning volunteers may take home a portion of the harvest for their hard work, and to feed their own families. Many low-income residents are gleaning participants and leaders.

Q: I’d like to participate in a gleaning event but I don’t have a car

A: People often carpool to gleans. If you are interested in a ride, you can email or call 541-490-6420.

Q: What about liability?

A: Everyone that participates in a gleaning event receives training about best practices for harvesting crops and they sign a liability waiver. If you are hosting a glean, you can make special requests of the group i.e. no ladders, or no children or pets allowed if there are hazards around. If you participate in a glean, you are completely responsibly for your safety and the safety of those with you.

Q: I can’t glean but I can help transport produce.

A: Great! That is just as helpful to us. You can sign up to volunteer and specify how you’d like to help. 

Q: What if I have a small crop to donate?

A: Even if you just have a single tree to harvest from, or a community garden plot that you don’t have time to tend we can help connect you with a volunteer to harvest your crop and ensure that it is eaten. You can simply register your crop HERE (insert link to registration). You can also give us a ring if you need help registering a crop.

Q: What if I have food to donate that is not locally grown?

A: We focus on rescuing locally grown crops. There are several groups in the area who will take other products like bread, imported crops and shelf stable food for distribution through meal sites, food banks, and other hunger relief organizations. {Link to gleaning groups page.}

You can look for a food pantry near you: (connect to 211) 

Q: I could really use some more fresh fruit and vegetables in my life. What do I do?

A: Sign up to volunteer with us, and you can take 50% of your harvest home to consume and preserve. Visit Gorge Grown Food Network’s Resource page for more help, and links to programs like Veggie Rx and SNAP Match. If you are unable to participate in gleaning, please visit one of the sites we deliver fresh produce to, or contact us about becoming a gleaning “adoptee”. A volunteer may be happy to deliver fresh produce to your home if you need assistance. [Link to list of sites]. 

If you work with or frequent a site you think would be a great place to receive produce donations, just let us know and we can add the site to our list. We don’t always have enough produce to go to all sites or the volunteers to distribute produce to distant locations. For the most update-to-date information on where we are delivering produce, please follow us on facebook.  

Are there other gleaning project to check out?

Gleaning is an ancient practice. Here are a few of our favorite contemporary models: