Community Gleaning

Each and every day, our generous donors provide the Eugene Mission with 100% of the food needed to provide three nutritious meals to our guests on our 7.5-acre campus. In addition to serving our residential guests, we gladly share our excess food donations with community partners who serve unhoused and vulnerable individuals through our Community Partner Gleaning Program.

What Is Gleaning? 

Gleaning is simply the act of collecting excess food from farms, grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, and other sources in order to provide it to those in need. The Eugene Mission daily gleans food stuffs from local food businesses through volunteer-driven food routes. We believe the Biblical practice of gleaning is the model for how to combine stewardship and charity (Lev 19:9-10) as we seek to serve those in need beyond our doors through strategic community partnerships.

Why Share? 

While some Mission food donations come from generous donors purchasing much needed “specific- Mission-need” items and bringing them personally to our Food Donation door, the majority of our food inventory is gleaned from businesses that would otherwise be forced to thrown away certain items.

Food waste is a significant issue in our nation, while at the same time, millions of our vulnerable neighbors struggle with food insecurity. Through our community-wide gleaning efforts, we are able to give 100,000’s pounds of food a second life here at the Eugene Mission and feed not only the 100’s of guests sheltering with us, but also to share this wonderful bounty with community partners so as to serve 100’s more though partner agency’s food efforts.

How do I become a Community Partner in the Gleaning Program?

Community Partners are agencies and organizations who serve similarly vulnerable individuals who will gratefully steward the food items gleaned from the Eugene Mission. The first step to becoming a community partner is to express an interest in our Community Partner Gleaning Program by contacting our Food Services Team at foodservices@eugenemission.org and filling out an Interest Form detailing the numbers, resources, and frequency of individuals to be served.

Providing the partnership is a good fit and there is additional capacity to share our excess resources, the agency will be invited to participate in a weekly gleaning opportunity set up in our food service areas with assigned date and time.

What’s available?

Available food stuffs change daily! Please keep our variable supply chains in mind when planning to glean from the Eugene Mission as there is no assurance of specific quantities or items from week-to- week.

  • Typically, available daily are: bakery products and fresh produce – the two most common items we receive in excess! These are items food businesses need to move quickly as they have a short shelf-life and buyers are looking for the freshest products.
  •   Sometimes there is milk, frozen proteins, individual meals, sweets, or canned goods. 
  • Occasionally there are specialty, seasonal, or bulk items.
  •  Rarely will there be excesses in starches, eggs, cheese, ready-to-eat meals, and fresh or canned proteins.

If you don’t see an item available on the gleaning tables or Gleaning Board, please don’t ask.

How much may a Community Partner take?

Multiple agencies are scheduled to glean daily with a preference given to organizations with shared clients with the Eugene Mission. Gleaning begins at 1 pm Monday – Saturday. These are not drop-in services and items will not be saved for later pickup. Limits per available items will be set daily as necessary. The day’s excess in produce and bakery items will be set out for agency reps to self-glean once Mission staff have sorted and gleaned what is needed for upcoming internal meal preparation.

Community Partners need to bring their own bags and helpers if needed, and will need to transport their items. Beyond produce and bakery items, additional excesses will be listed on our Gleaning Board daily with posted limits per an organization that Eugene Mission staff or volunteers will access for Community Partners upon request. Please take only what you need unless prompted to take more when items are in extreme surplus.

How can I help?

NEEDS. Though there ARE excesses daily, the Eugene Mission also has regular shortages of key items such as eggs, coffee, cereal, pasta, cooking oil, mayo, large cans of beans & marinara, pancake mix & syrup, and traditional kitchen seasonings. Corporate and individual food donations are welcome 7 days a week, 7 am – 7pm at the Kitchen Food donation door, here at 1542 West 1st in Eugene.

HELP. Volunteers are needed to help with donation routes, product sorting and rotation, and meal preparation. If interested, please email us at Volunteer@eugenemisison.org for more information on how to plug in as a Mission volunteer.

SHARE. Check out our website at www.eugenemission.org/newsletter to sign up for our e-news and follow our story on social media to see the good work being done by our guests in the community.

“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

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