By Joy Jamison, St. Paul Member

In August there will be an exciting and fun opportunity for St. Paul Church members to help feed hungry people in Louisville. The Justice Ministry, in connection with Beyond the Walls, is planning a church-wide “gleaning” event under the Harvesting Hands ministry of Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light (KIPL).

So what is gleaning? Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested. In the Old Testament, there was a mandate to give these leftover crops to widows, strangers, and orphans. The Book of Ruth features gleaning by the widow Ruth to provide for herself and Naomi, her mother in law, also a widow.

Between 40 and 50 percent of the good, safe food produced in America never makes it to people’s plates, and more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Kentucky citizens struggle with hunger. Here is St. Paul Church’s chance to really make a difference!

Everyone is welcome, the more the better, there are never too many gleaners. Children are definitely welcome, but they must have an adult with them. The tweens and the youth are especially welcomed – we need your energy! It is a very family friendly activity.

Farmers are never absolutely sure when produce will be ready, but they usually have a good idea a week ahead. August is the most productive time for gleaning – that’s when tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are ripe and abundant.

When we know the date, we will post that information immediately.

This information will be shared. When we learn a date, we’ll also learn the location! We plan to carpool from St. Paul to make sure parking does not overflow. Each gleaning session lasts 2 or 3 hours depending on conditions, not counting driving. You’re also welcome to come on your own.

Are you interested? We’re putting together an email list of those interested in gleaning so as soon as we have our information, you will too.

  • On August 2, volunteers will be at tables before and after the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services to answer questions and help you sign up for the gleaning email list.
  • If you just can’t wait until August 2 to get on board, there is sign-up sheet at the Information Center.
  • Call the church office at 502.459.1595 and an office assistant will help you sign up for the gleaning email list over the phone.

For more information and a video

Grab your water bottle, your hat, bug spray and gloves if you want them, and have a good time making a difference for hungry people!