The greater Moses Lake area has quite a few u-pick farms that have opened in recent years and are still struggling to get off of the ground. By allowing Community Services of Moses Lake to glean, a u-pick farm is able to increase their publicity while conveying a sense of giving back to the community. With the grower or producers permission all donations are put on Facebook and linked to the farms page when available to increase the outreach of their advertising. The first glean that Community Services of Moses Lake did was one of these small u-pick farms and the grower stated there was an increase in business following the glean. This is a win-win, if you are able to help keep a small business growing, they will have produce for future gleaning opportunities.
Community Services of Moses Lake (CSML) strives to empower the community so that “Friends help friends feed the hungry.” CSML houses the Moses Lake Food Bank and is the distribution hub for 33 partner food banks in 5 counties in Central Washington. These counties include the 3 largest agricultural producers in Washington; Yakima, Benton and Grant counties. In 2012 CSML distributed approximately 120,000 pounds of fresh produce. With the presence of the Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in 2013, that number increased to well over 300,000 lbs. of produce. In 2014, only 68,750 pounds of produce were donated, but in 2015, over 99,675 pounds of produce was collected and distributed. Overall, CSML has collected approximately 757,155 pounds of fresh produce from farmers in the area.