Market Gleaners did some Heavy Lifting in 2023

Ballard Farmers Market gleaners collected 24,000 pounds of produce for the Ballard Food Bank in 2023! Our single largest collection was a whopping 1,670 pounds. This was a lot of heavy lifting for our dedicated 34 volunteers who gave a total of 501 volunteer hours to make this happen! We were fortunate enough to be able to start using a Ballard Food Bank van for transporting produce this year, which has made the whole process much more efficient. 

As gleaning volunteers, we sort all produce donations and store perishable goods in the Ballard Food Bank’s fridge. Though there are days when the fridge is quite full, there are also days when we arrive to a fridge without much produce in it. Seeing the visual impact of our work to provide fresh, healthy, and local produce to our neighbors is what keeps our gleaners going! It is also amazing to see the generosity of our farmers, who have all gone through so much in the past few years: from a pandemic to fires to flooding. We would also like to thank the amazing Seattle Farmers Market Association (SFMA) team for the work they put into creating such an amazing market, and the support they provide to our gleaners.

We could always use more gleaning volunteers! Though our hauls are pretty light at the moment, the amount of produce we collect each month will continue to increase as we move into spring. In late summer we frequently collect over 1,300 pounds of produce, and having the full roster of 6 volunteers can help to reduce the time it takes to sort the produce.

Contact Olivia to participate.