The Society of St. Andrew is a faith-based, non-denominational hunger relief ministry focused on sharing healthy food with hungry people, right here in the United States.
We work with farmers to keep fresh fruits and vegetables from going to waste. Recoverable for human consumption are edible crops remaining in farmers’ fields after harvest; produce rejected because of market “cosmetics” (blemishes, misshapen, etc.); unsold fresh produce from wholesalers and farmers’ markets. Farmers receive a tax statement from the Society of St. Andrew for fruits and vegetables gleaned and/or donated.
We mobilize volunteers from congregations and civic or school groups to glean (pick, dig, or gather) produce in fields to share with nearby feeding agencies, such as soup kitchens or food pantries. We also engage whole congregations in bagging fresh fruits or vegetables by the tractor-trailer load at “crop drops”, held all over the country. Examples of recovered crops in your area in 2014: 6,000 lbs of green beans delivered to and bagged by students and faculty at Northeast Community College campus in Blountville; 4,500 lbs of apples rescued by members of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City (the apples remained on the ground following harvest); 8,000 lbs of pumpkins gleaned in Moshiem. Recipients of these crops included Good Samaritan, Haven of Mercy, Central Services in Morristown, Greeneville-Greene Co. Community Services, Second Harvest (who does not have their own personnel to glean fields, etc), and local churches that have food pantries.
We pay no fees for the produce we receive from farmers and packing houses, so we always share food freely, without even shared maintenance or handling fees. Our only restrictions are that the food is distributed in quantities that can be used quickly and without waste, to people who really need it, for whom purchasing healthy food is a financial hardship.
The Society of St. Andrew’s work is truly a grassroots effort. Does it work? Each year, more than 30,000 volunteers join us in ministry, gleaning, bagging, and sharing 100 million servings of healthy, nourishing food with neighbors in need throughout the 48 contiguous United States for less than 2 cents per serving.
So far in 2015,Food Saved and Distributed by SoSA January – March 2015 – 6,026,735 Pounds(18 Million Servings) by 4,292 Volunteers.
The Society of St. Andrew is a non-profit organization whose funding is acquired through fundraising and donations. More than 96% of funds raised/donated go directly to delivery of food and services; Total Overhead Costs (administration and fundraising) claim less than 4%.
I invite all farmers, the most important factor in our program, to become partners with The Society of St. Andrew by contacting Kathy Crump at 352-293-6335 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.endhunger.org/tennessee for more information.