A volunteer powered program of WSU Kitsap Extention that works to reduce local produce waste, provide more fresh food to those in need, and build community. This project is a response to the dramatic increase in the number of people seeking food assistance in our county. Our Glean Teams harvest from both farms and backyard fruit trees, then share the bounty with local senior housing, youth programs, shelters, food banks, and families in need. Volunteers also take a portion home as a thank you for all their hard work!
Gleaners are volunteers who participate in gleaning events by helping to pick, sort, and weigh produce that is harvested. You do not need to attend a training to become a gleaner because a Branch Leader will train you during the gleaning event.
It is recommended that you have your ladder training so you have all the tools to be a successful gleaner at your disposal.
This person will work closely with the Kitsap Harvest team to learn and become competent in becoming a skilled leader. All we need is willingness to learn!
- Branch Leaders are responsible for leading urban fruit harvests with a group of volunteers.
- They can pre-check sites to assure the fruit is ripe for the picking.
- At the glean, Branch Leaders are responsible for recording the harvest data. Assuring the produce gets dropped off to designated drop locations either by transporting it, and/or delegation of other volunteers.
Since all volunteers get to take home a portion of the harvest, Branch Leaders have access to fresh fruit all season long. This is the perfect opportunity for people who like to preserve food and who want to give back to the community. We ask that Branch Leaders be available on a consistent day and can commit to the entire season.
There are two types of “transporters”.
- Helping pickup food from “Grow-A-Row participants and taking to designated location.
- Picking food up from a glean site and taking to local designated drop sites.
When we harvest from a glean we can end up with 50 pounds, or 350 pounds. Since we deliver to locations that have limited access to food banks, we deliver multiple, small quantity drops within hours. These smaller donations allow us to take food right to where it is needed while decreasing the amount of food that is wasted.
The coordinator’s goal is to make food transportation easy, keeping drop locations withing the vicinity in which food was received, and to a minimum of stops for disbursement. We also ask other volunteers to help with taking food to designated locations to share the task.
Be a Fruit Finder! We have Door Hangers available throughout Kitsap that can be used when walking, biking, or when chatting with neighbors with an abundant garden or fruit tree. Fruit Finders have a dramatic impact in helping get the word out about our program. As a volunteer, we want to help track your hours and commend you for the time put in to our success.
Farmers Market Donation Station
Kitsap Harvest provides donations stations at some of the area farmers markets, including the Bremerton Community Farmers Market on Thursdays and Port Orchard Farmers Market on Saturdays.
We have these stations so that the community has an opportunity to donate either through the purchase of Farmers market produce or bringing their own from home.
Grow A Row
When planting your garden, plan for abundance and then share with Kitsap Harvest.
We will provide you with with an easy method for donation.
- Drop Stations at the Port Orchard and Bremerton Community Farmers Markets.
- A volunteer can come harvest or pick up directly from you.
- Provide locations within your community where it can be taken.
100% of your food is taken to either a shelter or senior housing complex. We will weigh and document your donation and compile it as part of our report showing your impact in helping reduce nutrition insecurity.
Community Garden Sites
Kitsap Harvest helps facilitate Low Income Garden sites. We use a range of resources to help fuel successful community plots empowering the ability for people to connect with their food and eat fresh.
- If you would like to help support such a garden site by providing education it greatly increases the success of the gardeners to stay engaged, and build the skills needed to feel confident in their ability.
To Volunteer with Kitsap Harvest:
As a volunteer, you share in the bounty by helping others and bringing home food for yourself. It isn’t just apples, plums, and pears, but all the flavors of so many varieties. We keep our gleans to a couple hours, typically in the mornings when fruit is the most crisp. Come out once, or as many times as you like. We encourage you to bring the kids for this nostalgic experience.
- Fill out the Application, background disclosure form and the ladder safety test and email all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to: WSU Kitsap County Extension, 345 6th Street, Suite 550, Bremerton, WA 98337
- When approved, you will receive an email with the WSU Volunteer Handbook, with instructions on entering your volunteer hours in the WSU volunteer database.
- After Step 2, emails will be sent out with gleaning opportunities around the County. The Gleaning Coordinator will connect volunteers with property owners.