SARASOTA, FL-Sarasota County officials are working with the nonprofit Society of St. Andrew to help restock local food banks with fresh, locally grown oranges.
The "Gleaning America's Fields" event will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, at the Sarasota County Solid Waste Administration building, 4000 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis. From there participants will be shuttled to the county-owned citrus grove. "Last year was the first time we had an opportunity to harvest the oranges. More than 1.4 million pounds of oranges were picked and donated to food banks," said Brian Usher of Sarasota County Utilities. "We are seeking volunteers of all ages to come out for a few hours on a Saturday and help us give back to the community."
Gleaning is a traditional practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot, or be plowed under after harvest. The Society of St. Andrew started the Gleaning Network in 1988 and the practice is now performed each year in states across the country. Since 1995, when the Society of St. Andrew opened a Florida office, more than 31 million pounds of fresh produce have reached food banks in local communities.
For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.