West Palm Beach, FL--Approximately 70 members of the Rosarian Academy community participated in a large-scale gleaning effort to provide food for the less fortunate in Palm Beach County. Pre-school through eighth grade students and their families spent the morning picking an estimated 8,000 pounds of cucumbers that were delivered to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. By working in partnership with more than 100 hunger relief agencies, the Palm Beach County Food Bank is able to reach nearly 100,000 hungry residents in their community. Through the generosity of food donated by local farmers, distributors, retailers, and restaurants, they were able to distribute nearly 5 million pounds of food in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
According to Christians Reaching Out to Society (C.R.O.S. Ministries) volunteers: approximately 200,000 people wake up each morning in Palm Beach County and don’t know if they will have enough food. “Facts such as this make the students and families feel great about the hard work of picking crops knowing that it is serving the beautiful purpose of feeding people in our very own community who may not otherwise eat,” Patrick Hansen said. Hansen is a Middle School teacher at Rosarian Academy who coordinated the gleaning event for the school for the third year in a row.
Gleaning is so important because an estimated 52 million pounds of produce on farms are wasted every year. C.R.O.S. Ministries (CROS), the event organizer, works with local farmers to allow volunteers to glean, or pick, the crops that are left after the harvest, which are perfectly edible but do not meet supermarket standards. CROS believes that to be successful in addressing hunger, the community must come together. Through this meaningful community service project, the students experienced the power of making a positive difference in the lives of the needy in their community.