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Gleaning and Food Recovery

The National Gleaning Project, an initiative of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems  (CAFS) at Vermont Law School, is a clearinghouse for gleaning and food recovery related information. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines gleaning as "the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, or any other sources in order to provide it to those in need." For more details see: Let's Glean: United We Serve Toolkit, USDA, 2010.

The National Gleaning Project provides resources on research and laws pertaining to gleaning and food recovery, explores the work of other similar organizations, and connects with those organizations to consider opportunities for collaboration at the local, state, regional and national levels. The guide includes national and state laws and regulations pertaining to gleaning and food donation, a comprehensive guide to gleaning and food recovery organizations by U.S. region, and additional resources on a variety of issues associated with gleaning and food recovery practices.

In January 2017, CAFS released Models for Success: A Set of Case Studies Examining Gleaning Efforts Across the United States. This report highlights the innovative work of gleaning and fresh food recovery organizations from around the country to provide background on organizational models, collaborative efforts, and examples of successful initiatives that may provide useful models. To develop this report, the Project’s researchers interviewed dozens of local, regional, and national gleaning organizations across the country regarding their specific legal and non-legal challenges.