History of Thurston County Food Bank and Gleaning

The current gleaning program in Thurston County began in 2009 with an AmeriCorps VISTA placement at TCFB. Previous to this, Olympia had a gleaning coalition independent from the food bank, but eventually the main volunteer departed and gleaning projects hibernated. The current model is a centralized program with a Gleaning Coordinator based at the food bank who organizes events, recruits volunteers, and communicates with volunteers and farmers. 

In addition to hosting the gleaning program, TCFB has launched a number of projects to improve its produce area including a winter community supported agriculture (CSA) program, a mini CSA program for children on free or reduced lunches at two elementary schools, a winter produce food drive at local grocers, a plant-a-row campaign, a strong partnership and weekly work parties with the Kiwanis Club’s food bank gardens, and internships for students of The Evergreen State College focused on produce-related programs.


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. 


Related Articles