Harvest Of Hope

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that one out of every six American kids faces hunger – not starvation, but malnutrition. Yet tons of food is wasted – on plates, in restaurants, and in the fields where it is produced. Reporter Jim Melchiorre caught up with a big group of teenagers in Virginia who are rolling up their sleeves to find a solution.

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Eighty-two 21st century teenagers are renewing a biblical practice. It’s called “gleaning”—collecting leftover crops that would otherwise be wasted.

Kaitlin Koch / Gleaning Volunteer: “Part of you is thinking it’s hot, you’re stinky, and you just want to go home and take a shower. And the other part of you is thinking, ‘Look how much we’re doing.’”

They glean the cabbage, then load it for delivery to the community food bank.

Jeanetta Bullock / Food Bank Client: “We have squash, string beans, potatoes, corn.”

Within 24 hours, this cabbage will provide part of the hot lunch at a soup kitchen for the elderly.

Jeanetta Bullock: “We’re going to have some drumfish tomorrow with sweet potatoes and this cabbage will go good with that.

Harvest of Hope is just one program run by The United Methodist Church-supported Society of St. Andrew, dedicated to ending hunger.

Shawn Kiger / Harvest of Hope: “We think that here, in 2004, we need to get the word out that, if you’re willing to volunteer, there’s a lot of food left in the field and a lot of hungry people can benefit from that.”

Including Eric Boyd, who says this cabbage will be a big help to him and his mother, who share a home again since his divorce.

Eric Boyd / Food Bank Client: “Things are being done as they should. Those who have are helping those who have a little less right now and equaling things out.”

Equalizing access to food remains an age-old challenge. The ancient practice of gleaning might be a modern solution.


According to the USDA, more than 3,000 pounds of food per second is wasted in the United States. For more information about Harvest of Hope, contact the Society of St. Andrew Web site: