The gleaning program is an opportunity for volunteers to donate their time to the community by collecting donated food from vendors at the Ballard Farmers Market and bringing it to the Ballard Food Bank. Last year, we collected over 26,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank! If you’re looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend a few hours on Sundays please consider joining the gleaning team.
Each Sunday, we have a lead volunteer who parks their vehicle at the market, and 3-5 additional volunteers who all meet at the Seattle Farmers Market Association (SFMA) info booth before the end of the market. We typically show up ~15 minutes before the end of the market to ensure we can start collecting before the vendors begin packing up their booths. We ask volunteers to meet at the SFMA info booth (located at the intersection of Ballard Ave NW and 22nd Ave NW) at 1:45pm on Sunday. We bring the food to the Ballard Food Bank and sort the food into crates, then store the food in the appropriate locations. The process takes anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on the quantity of food collected (generally less food during the fall and winter months, and more during the spring and summer).
If this sounds like a volunteering opportunity you are interested in, you can sign up on our Gleaning Spreadsheet. Please enter your contact information on the Volunteer Contact Info tab so the project manager can reach you with updates via email. We have dedicated leads who are experienced gleaners, and we ask that new volunteers sign up as hands. You can also sign up for days to volunteer on the tab labeled 2022. We have enough volunteers to generally have people sign up to help roughly once per month, though you can certainly sign up for more if you wish!