One of TCFB’s big farm donors was mainly supplying culled produce, or produce that had already been harvested. This produce can be anything that was sorted out as un-sellable, such as blemished or misshapen vegetables, produce that was not sold at market, CSA boxes that did not get picked up, and off-type varieties of a crop. This resource is great for food banks, as there can be a wide variety of produce that comes from CSA farms. CSA boxes can remain intact and given out to larger families, and the Thurston County Food Bank has tried a small CSA pilot project for clients, as well.
When coordinating cull gleaning with a farm, find out the best ways to transport their produce for both parties. If they do a market day or CSA drop-off near your organization, they may be able to deliver donations. Deliveries may not be possible due to space availability so offer to come to their farm to pick up their donation; this is often a quick and simple trip, that can be sometimes be arranged on a weekly basis. You could also have their point person contact you when an abundance of culled produce is available. Growers may want a receipt for their donations, so keep good records of what is received from them.
Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB) is located in Olympia, WA. Established by volunteers in 1965, TCFB has continued to grow since that time. TCFB reaches the community through a variety of services; food bank distribution, satellite location distribution, FORKids, mobile food bank sites, and summer lunch program. TCFB utilized 7800 volunteers who donated 50,379 hours this past year. Thurston County Food Bank has a large presence in the Thurston County community, serving 57,234 clients in 2014.