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Small Resource Farmers and Gleaning


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: Summer Food Service Program Sponsors

Number: 99-710

From: Summer Food Service Program Unit

Date: April 1999

Attention: Authorized Representatives

Subject: Small Resource Farmers and Gleaning

Reference: USDA Summer Food Service Program Policy Memorandum #19-99

This Management Bulletin transmits information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides useful resources to add nutrition, value, and variety to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals.

Over the past two years, USDA has encouraged program administrators and partners to better utilize small resource farmers and gleaning efforts as a means to enhance SFSP operations. The following information will assist you in using these resources.

Small Resource Farmers

A small resource farm is a small to medium-sized farm that grows and sells fruits and/or vegetables to local markets. These local markets are usually local grocery stores, local fresh produce distributors, farmers markets, and roadside stands. A number of benefits may be realized by purchasing fruits and/or vegetables from small farmers. These benefits may include an assurance that the produce is of high quality and freshness; a somewhat lower purchase price due to the exclusion of shipping and handling charges; the availability of a wider variety of produce for meals; and a potential savings in cost through contractual arrangements with the farmer(s).

A comprehensive listing of farmers markets is located at the USDA Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing Web page at http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/.

Gleaning

There are four types of gleaning, which are described below:

Field gleaning, perishable food rescue or salvage, and nonperishable food collection are best suited for the SFSP. The food rescue method of gleaning is not recommended because of food safety concerns.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service Web site has additional information and resources on gleaning and food recovery. This information may be accessed at http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/gleaning/content.htm (Note: the preceding Web address is no longer valid).

See the "Citizen’s Guide to Food Recovery". The USDA has also established a gleaning hotline to answer general questions and to provide model program information about gleaning and food recovery activities.

The hotline telephone number is: 800-GLEAN IT or 800-453-2648.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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