Sign up for gleaning and get your hands a little dirty.
Rise and shine and bring your family and friends, corporate co-workers and congregations, groups and organizations to glean (harvest what’s left over) with After the Harvest! Together, you’ll rescue fruits and vegetables from farms, orchards and gardens. Then, we deliver the produce fresh from the field—you can help do that too if you can!—to pantries, kitchens and shelters feeding our hungry neighbors.
With morning weekday and some weekend gleaning events, from May through November—sometimes earlier and sometimes later depending on the weather and growing season—you’re sure to find a fit. All are welcome, including children of any age, who get to see how our food grows and where it comes from.
Please note: Gleanings are within 30-45 minutes of downtown Kansas City. We’ll contact you the week of your gleaning (sometimes up to the day before) with where and what you’ll be harvesting, based on what our growers tell us is available.
IT'S AS EASY AS SIGNING UP BELOW.
Register for available gleaning dates on the Volunteer Calendar
Sign up for Gleaning & News Alerts for pop-up gleaning info
Welcome Gleaners! Thanks for your interest in signing up to rescue fresh, nutritious produce to feed hungry people.
What to expect as you sign up to glean:
Sign up to glean via the Volunteer Calendar tab.
Sign up as: “Individual, “Family/ Group” or “Organization”(office, scouts, school, etc.), and fill in the projected number of gleaners and ages. You will receive an email with instructions and a link to fill out the required electronic waiver form. All volunteers attending are required to complete a waiver form before entering the field.
Note to leaders: Once you sign up for your group, you’ll receive an email with a link to forward to other participants so they can also sign up and fill out their waivers. We may be able to accommodate a larger number of volunteers than indicated or a different date and time.
If you see a gleaning event listing that says “produce gleaning,” instead of, say, “apple gleaning”, that means we’ll be gleaning, but don’t yet know what will be ready to harvest on which farm.
Our gleaning network manager will e-mail you near your gleaning week with the farm address, field supervisor contact info, produce to be gleaned and notice of delay or cancellation due to bad weather.
Tell us via your sign-up if you can help deliver gleaned produce to food banks or pantries (we make our best effort to find an agency along your route).
The page provides answers to common questions that our volunteers and supporters have asked. If you don’t find what you are looking for please go to the CONTACT page. Thank you for your support and involvement.
Farmers often have produce left over that they can’t sell and don’t wish to throw away or turn under, so instead of letting it go to waste, they donate it, and then, with the help of After the Harvest, feed hungry people. Gleaning is picking what’s left in farmers’ fields after the harvest and delivering it to food banks (like Harvesters–The Community Food Network), pantries, shelters and community kitchens
We pick apples, pears, beans, kale, tomatoes, berries, squash, corn and more from May-November, depending on the weather. If it grows in Kansas or Missouri, we probably glean it! All gleanings are headed by trained field supervisors. Our staff is small so it’s volunteers, like you, who rescue thousands of pounds of produce for those in need.
Yes! We love kids to learn where their food comes from and to help others who are in need. There is no minimum age, but children need to be old enough to follow directions, not step on the crops, or wander off. We require close parental supervision for young children as well as waiver forms signed by parents/guardians for those under 18. In general, one adult for every 10 children is required, but more may be required if participants include many very young children or other special situations.
Follow the above sign up directions and sign up as “Organization”.
Fill out your organization’s name and description, where you’re traveling from to get to the gleaning, and the ages of your volunteers (how many projected 0-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19+ years?).
If you’re projecting more volunteers than the indicated need, sign up anyway for the number we indicate, explain in comment box and we’ll be in touch. Note that we may be able to accommodate your group on a date and time not listed.
If you see a gleaning event listing on the Volunteer Calendar that says “Produce gleaning,” instead of, say, “Apple gleaning”, that means we’ll be gleaning, but don’t yet know what will be ready to harvest on which farm. We’ll let you know via e-mail before your gleaning. Signing up for “Produce gleanings” gives volunteers (especially groups) a longer time frame to plan.
Our Gleaning Manager will e-mail you with the farm address, field supervisor contact info, produce to be gleaned and notice of delay or cancellation due to bad weather. We try to give you as much advance notice as possible, but because of the nature of farming, we will probably not be in contact until the week of your gleaning with specifics.
We may cancel a gleaning due to wet field conditions, dangerous thunderstorms, or crop failures due to heat, drought, hail, frost or freezing temperatures. We ask every gleaner to check their e-mail on the day of the gleaning to make sure it has not been cancelled. Please know that 95% of the gleanings go off without a hitch.
In the summer, wear a hat, sunglasses, closed-toed old shoes and socks (sandals just don’t work in fields). Wear long, lightweight pants and a long-sleeved shirt—you’ll stay cooler if you’re covered. In the fall, it’s best to dress warmly in layers and wear gloves.
If you wish, apply bug spray before you leave home. Most of our farms are organic, so you won’t be able to spray there. Please go to the bathroom and wash your hands before leaving home. Using the field is never allowed, and only a few of the farms have public restrooms, so you’ll have to drive to the closest facility. No smoking is allowed in the fields; plan to smoke ahead of time or by your car.
Yes. Volunteers tell us that delivering from the farm to a food bank, or other agency distributing food, is one of the best experiences of the day. We try to select a location near your route (or an agency of your preference), but if you can, please be open to areas of most need. When you sign up, tell us you can deliver. The primary way that produce gets from the farm to those in need is through volunteers like you (note: you don’t need a truck…car trunks hold a lot of produce!).
Our quick response team, the Vegetable Emergency Glean Squad, comes together on short notice for weekday morning produce gleanings. They share rides, friendship, fresh morning air and exercise as they rescue nutritious produce for hungry families. Contact the volunteer coordinator to sign up.
All of the coordination of a gleaning is done via our gleaning staff. Each gleaning (coordinating farmers, agencies, volunteers, on-site supervision, packaging, van) costs the organization about $500. So please consider giving a gift of support if you can.
Scroll down for more gleaning information.
“Gleaning for After the Harvest has been such an invaluable learning experience for our whole family. It feeds the soul to nourish the hungry with fresh local food. I love introducing my children to these local farmers that grow healthy food. The true reward is to bring this food to pantries the very same day to provide a nourishing meal for those in need.”
—Jennifer, After the Harvest volunteer
DIG DEEPER INTO OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Gleaning can be habit-forming! Learn how to become more deeply involved in our produce rescue efforts.
Join the Vegetable Emergency Glean Squad, our quick response team that comes together on short notice for weekday morning produce gleanings. Sign up
Lead gleanings and build relationships with growers after completing training in safety and best practices. Sign up
Produce Rescue Driver
Transport rescued produce from markets and farms to agencies feeding those in need. Volunteer for weekly farmers market pick-ups. To be contacted for pick-ups, Sign up.
Don’t want to get your hands dirty? There are lots of other ways to volunteer for After the Harvest in our office and in the community.
This has been a year of shifting and changing to better serve those in need in our community, but also to make the After the Harvest volunteer experience the best it can be. Check out what’s new below.
In line with the latest CDC guidelines for mask wearing, After the Harvest will not require volunteers to wear masks while gleaning in large, outdoor areas.
We may require a mask if specific gleanings dictate additional precaution or at the host farm’s discretion, in order to insure our growers’ safety and comfort.
Masks will still be required for volunteers in indoor gleanings (in green houses and the like), and in close quarters while packing and delivering.
Volunteers are asked to maintain at least a six-foot distance from those outside of their household for the duration of the gleaning.
Gleaners will be notified of any mask requirement in advance of their gleaning.
Masks are required by volunteers taking part in ATH public events (including farmers markets).