What is the suncoast gleaning project?

"Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest."

Transition Sarasota organizes volunteers to harvest excess produce from local farms such as Jessica’s Organic Farm and Enza Zaden Research. Produce harvested is donated to All Faiths Food Bank, The Food Bank of Manatee, or Feeding Tampa Bay depending on location.

We’re always interested in expanding our partnerships with farms and the community, if interested, please email info@transitionsrq.org.

What is Bountiful Sarasota?

Bountiful Sarasota is an expansion of our Suncoast Gleaning Project. Bountiful Sarasota is a means to donate excess or unharvested local fruit from backyard and neighborhood trees to: area food banks, charitable groups, and farmers’ markets.

Local residents register their fruit trees into our online database(button below), and choose a harvest option: 1) harvest into our bins and schedule a pick up, OR 2) we coordinate our volunteers to harvest the produce for you!

Benefits to the resident:

  • Less work to harvest and dispose of unwanted fruit

  • A portion of the harvest

  • Improved health of your fruit trees

  • Less pests that are after the fruit

  • A donation receipt

Benefits to the world:

  • Nutritious food gets to people that need it

  • Fundraising for important programs

  • Reduces food waste

  • Reduces energy waste

  • Builds a resilient, connected community

The Facts

Food Waste

Coming Soon!

Food insecurity

What is food insecurity? Food insecurity refers to the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. It refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity often reflects a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing, medical bills, or purchasing nutritional foods.

  • 13% of all Sarasota County residents face food insecurity, 20% are children (2016 Feeding America data).

  • 13% of all Manatee County residents face food insecurity, 21% are children (2016 Feeding America data).

  • 16% of all DeSoto County residents face food insecurity, 26% are children (2016 Feeding America data).

  • “In Florida, 1 in 7 people and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger.” - Feeding America

  • “The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older [in America] has increased by 45% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050.”- Feeding America

What causes food insecurity? One "bad month" can be enough to plunge a household into food insecurity. Lay-offs at work, unexpected car maintenance or an accident on the job can suddenly force a household to choose between buying food and paying bills. Working families across America face countless situations that can result in food insecurity and hunger.

What are the effects of food insecurity? Below are a few of the most common and complex effects of food insecurity

  • serious health complications— when people facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food and medicine or medical care

  • damage to a child’s ability to thrive

  • difficult decisions for seniors — often fixed incomes can result in having to choose between paying for food or critical healthcare.

How do we end food insecurity? Food insecurity is difficult (although we believe not impossible) to solve due to interconnected underlying causes such as— poverty, unemployment/under-employment and inconsistent access to enough healthy food. Flux in and out of food insecurity adds more stress to a household that may already be wrestling with instability.

Transition Sarasota educates and mobilizes volunteers to harvest nutritional foods that may have otherwise been wasted. Harvested food goes to local food banks to fight to end hunger locally and in America. We also work to form stronger community relationships and partnerships to create a broader safety net for Sarasota to thrive and grow.

Amazing impacts!

In 2018, Transition Sarasota’s Suncoast Gleaning Project, had over 280 individual volunteers harvest over 30,000 pounds of fresh, local produce to donate to our community in need. Since its inception in 2010, the Suncoast Gleaning Project has donated over 300,000 pounds of fresh produce!

For Those in Need: By donating to local food banks, we supply additional fresh, nutritious options for the food bank to offer to those who rely on food assistance.

For Local Farmers: Farmers receive a tax deduction based on the amount of produce we harvest.

For Volunteers: Volunteers are invited to take home one grocery bag full of produce each week in appreciation for their time.  All ages are welcome, and those who, for any reason, are unable to harvest can still help by washing and boxing produce. No prior experience is necessary, and everything needed is provided.

Interested to join us? Vegetable produce harvesting typically occurs late October through the end of May, while backyard fruit harvesting begins in late May through August. Historically we have gleaned Monday mornings at Jessica's Organic Farm in Sarasota for donation to All Faiths Food Bank. During active gleaning times, we confirm gleaning plans via e-mail on Sunday evenings.

To receive gleaning event updates join our mailing list and select "Suncoast Gleaning Project". In addition, like and follow us on Facebook, where you can also see updates.

That's something we can all support!

Below - photos from 2017 & 2018 gleaning events