Just as the Midwest’s gleaning season swings into high gear, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City has announced that it will support The Society of St. Andrew’s Western Headquarters with a grant of $121,000 to help provide fresh, nutritious produce to people in need across the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
The Health Care Foundation has supported SoSA West since the Kansas City-based office was founded in 2008, providing $896,000 in funding for the organization to date.
Not only have they supported SoSA West with funding, but the Health Care Foundation staff has also gleaned with SoSA. Gleaning is the practice of gathering fresh fruits and vegetables left in fields and orchards after the harvest. Gleaning prevents the waste of perfectly good food and provides much-needed nutrition to people who cannot afford to buy it.
The gleaning of spring crops is now underway, featuring such nutritious produce as lettuces, greens, strawberries, asparagus and more. SoSA West partners with many generous local farmers in its Gleaning Project, including the Good Natured Family Farm, Wohletz Farm, Karbaumer Farm, J-14 Farm and Ranch, Joe Steineger Farm, Cultivate KC, and more.
SoSA’s Western Headquarters provides fresh produce to food banks, pantries and feeding agencies in Missouri and Kansas, as well as other states west of the Mississippi River. SoSA West has provided nearly 14 million pounds of produce since its inception in May 2008.
SoSA West’s largest distribution partner is Harvesters – The Community Food Network, and its network of more than 620 feeding agencies in Kansas and Missouri. SoSA West also partners with faith congregations, civic organizations and corporations to engage their volunteers in gleaning, and to provide financial support. Gleaning is a fun, multi-generational community service project that yields millions of pounds of produce each year.
Meanwhile, hunger continues to grow in the United States. Nearly 50 million Americans face food insecurity each year, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal, and are unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. About 66,000 people seek emergency food assistance each week in the Harvesters service area.
The Society of St. Andrew is a national hunger-relief nonprofit organization that provides fresh produce to feed hungry people. Over the past 34 years, it has provided more than 694 million pounds of fresh produce to people in need across America.