Zach Callaway has been a techie for many years, but he’s grown to know that he has another side: he loves to get his hands dirty and dig in the dirt. He has discovered gardening…he loves it…and that affinity towards earth’s bounty will come in handy this growing season as Zach takes on the role of After the Harvest’s newest gleaning coordinator.

Says Zach, “Over the past few years, after my wife and I got our house, we’ve really been into gardening. Before that, I knew nothing about growing your own food. I fell in love with gardening…the life cycle…the whole way it connects you to the earth. Then I started going to farmers’ markets and then started learning about the local food community and economy and all of these groups I didn’t know about.”

“I had been thinking about expanding my garden,” he said, “and doing a bunch more planting and then donating it to our local food pantry at the time I found out about After the Harvest. It was a real cool thing when I saw the ad for ATH Gleaning Coordinator. It all synced up!”

Zach grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, and currently lives in De Soto, Kansas, with his wife, son and miniature schnauzer. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010, with a degree in Religious Studies & Philosophy. While in school, he worked with several nonprofit and faith-based organizations, where he developed a passion for community service.

After graduating, Zach earned certification in web design from the Kansas City Art Institute, and has spent the last seven years working as a web developer with Barkley and Gear for Sports. He loves any opportunity to combine his “left-brain” and “right-brain” to find creative solutions to problems and to help people.

In his free time, he enjoys playing trains with his son, writing groan-worthy jokes and, of course, working in the garden. “I am really curious to see the gardens and farms where we’re going to glean this season,” he said. “I’m interested in seeing how they grow what they grow and seeing plants I’ve never encountered before. AND, I’ll be helping to feed hungry people.”

Zach is glad to be back working with a nonprofit like ATH to help others. “Everyone deserves healthy food and I feel like there is no reason everyone shouldn’t have access to that food. I am like everyone else…I grew up eating Pop Tarts and stuff like that but it has been only recently that I started to figure out the mind/body/food connection,” he said. “So you really are what you eat. It seems unjust that some people only have the opportunity to have the worse stuff. It is really cool to provide nutritious food and real sustenance to hungry people.”