Thank you to everyone who contributed to a successful 2021 gleaning season — those who were able to glean, those who offered crops to glean and those who supported us financially. We ended the season with 103,624 lbs of fresh produce for our community! (compared to 31,563 lbs in 2020!) This total equates to more than 300,000 individual servings of food…nutritious food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
The produce was shared with Tri-Cities Food Banks (Kennewick, Richland & Benton City), St. Vincent de Paul, SOZO Food Bank, Salvation Army, Grace Clinic, My Friends Place, Mirror Ministries, Soul Soup, Meals on Wheels, 2 micro-pantries (Kennewick 1st Presbyterian Church & West Highlands United Methodist Church), Kadlec ER Nurses & the Colligium Cafe.
We had a rare opportunity to glean blueberries, and lots of them! (1,052 lbs.) Thanks to Pan American Berry Growers. Middleton Six Sons Farm invited us to glean nearly 5,000 lbs of pumkins in October. We shared 50 of the pumpkins with Adult Day Services for a Halloween event with their clients, and 30 more for a fall festival for foster families.
Onion gleaning at the WSU fields was cut a little short due to rain in late October — after 56,782 lbs! Not bad. Rob Koenig made the best of the situation, inviting gleaners to join him at Collegium Cafe for breakfast, and then one last trip to the WSU fields to glean potatoes for their personal use as a thank you for their dedication and participation this gleaning season. Rob was recognized with a gift card to the Collegium Cafe for his many years of dedication as the Residential Gleaning Coordinator.
In celebration of Fields of Grace’s 15th anniversary, we teamed with the Tri-Cities Food Bank to participate in the Benton County Fair Parade in August. We didn’t toss candy…we handed out apples!
A big thanks to the Ciolli family –Ryan & Kari pulled our trailer with their truck, and Mason & Malia were our banner bearers. Other participants included Norm Rohrig, Henry Johnson, Cheri Baker & her 2 grandchildren, Lisa Williams and Mark Williams playing his guitar.
2021 started with Tri-Cities Food Bank Director, VJ Meadows joining the Fields of Grace Board of Directors. Her passion & enthusiam has helped strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies. VJ immediately got involved helping the team of volunteers, lead by Chef Bev Matthews, prepare meals for the 2nd annual June Rib Dinner fundraiser. Bev was recognized with a gift of new chef knives in appreciation for her outstanding leadership of these events.
As 2021 draws to a close and we count our blessings during this holiday season, Fields of Grace is blessed by all it’s volunteers (gleaners, farmer’s market workers, transportation drivers), our dedicated board of directors, all those who share their crops for gleaning, and for our partner agencies & their volunteers who help distribute the produce to those in need in our community. We look forward to teaming again next year as we work to feed our community and reduce food waste.
CHRISTMAS CARDS: We have beautiful new Fields of Grace Christmas Cards available. Give the Gift of Healthy Food! Provide fresh produce to those in need while giving someone a beautiful Fields of Grace Christmas card.
Artwork for the card was painted for us by Rev. Kim Fields, pastor of Woodinville Community Church, WA. Pastor Kim formerly was at Central Church, Richland.
Make a donation of $25 (500 servings), $50 (1,000 servings), $75 (1,200 servings) or $100 (2,400 servings) in honor of someone special on your holiday list. Your donation helps us provide servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to local food banks. To arrange a purchase, contact us at email@example.com.
The cards have been purchased to thank medical providers & teachers, show appreciation to co-workers & management teams, recognize volunteers in the mission field & to honor special people. How might you use a special “alternative holiday gift?”
AWARD WINNERS: At the start of the gleaning season, in recognition of 2021 being the Fields of Grace 15th Anniversary, it was announced that anyone participating in 15 or more gleaning events would receive a free Fields of Grace T-Shirt.
Our 2021 Super Gleaners are: Jessie Graves (15), Henry Johnson (16), Norm Rohrig (18), Cindy Sharer (15) and Rita Slade (15). There were 33 gleaning events this year. (Contact Lisa to claim your shirt.)
A NOTE of THANKS Thank you for supporting Fields of Grace whether that’s by gleaning, purchasing a raffle ticket, sending a Fields of Grace Christmas Card, participating in the Alternative Gift Fair, being part of the Prayer Team or providing financial support, you are helping to further the mission of sharing God’s harvest with the Mid-Columbia. Bless You!