Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Faith In Action: Gleaning

Part of Virtue Ethics

Materials for Activity

  • Supplies for gleaning work-for example, gardening gloves or latex gloves; bags, baskets, or other approved containers; sturdy shoes
  • Optional: A computer with Internet access

Preparation for Activity

  • Does the Society of St. Andrew have a branch in your community? If so, organize your gleaning trip through them. If not, research groups in your area that do gleaning or food recovery work and will accept the youth as volunteers. Determine if a representative of the organization can speak to youth about local hunger issues. If no speaker is available, prepare to present from the Internet site of the group you are working with or to print out materials to share. Find out how the youth should equip themselves for this project. Make arrangements to bring any needed supplies.
  • Make plans for a service project the youth can do.
  • Research current information on hunger in the world, the U.S., and your community. Two websites that might help are the World Food Programme of the United Nations and Food Research and Action Center's list of states' anti-hunger organizations. If you will have a guest speaker, ask them to include this information: It is important youth know why they are providing service and to whom. Make sure this part of the activity includes telling youth where and how the recovered food will be used.

Description of Activity

The group works with an agency whose mission is to alleviate hunger locally.

Present information on the Society of St. Andrew. If you have Internet capability, have the youth peruse the Society of St. Andrew website. If you have the option to work with different groups, present information about all the options and let the group decide which organization best suits their needs.

Explain that "gleaning" is a process where fields that have been harvested are picked over for any small remains. Gleaning appears in the Hebrew scriptures, where farmers are commanded to leave the corners of their land unharvested so the hungry can come and glean food they need. Modern day gleaning includes working with farmers who have leftover produce they cannot sell and bringing that produce to people who are hungry, sometimes through food recovery agencies that package food to distribute, other times through soup kitchens.

Once you choose an organization, arrange a date to glean. Arrange for a representative of the organization to talk to the youth beforehand about local hunger issues. Make sure you have information on how the food gleaned will be used. If possible, involve the youth in delivering the gleaned food.

Including All Participants

Inform the organization you will work with about accessibility needs of your group.