As area farms and orchards finish harvesting each crop, there is always leftover, not-quite-perfect, produce still in the field. That’s where After the Harvest (ATH) volunteers can make a difference.
So far this season, volunteers have gleaned 1.7 million pounds of fresh produce from area fields and donated it to food pantries like Harvesters, a primary distribution partner.
Volunteers are always needed to help with the gleaning. They pick fruits and vegetables that may otherwise go to waste from farms and orchards. After the Harvest also secures large truckloads of produce from commercial growers and packers who donate the food for ATH to package and ship to food pantries.
Fresh, nutritious produce is often inaccessible to Kansas City families struggling with poverty and food insecurity. To combat this, the Health Care Foundation will award approximately $20 million in grants in the Greater Kansas City area, including $200,000 to ATH.
Since it began operation in 2014, ATH has delivered more than 5.3 million pounds of fresh, produce to feed those in need. The organization gleans everything from strawberries to watermelon, greens to sweet corn, and potatoes to okra.