Gleaning is a practice that have never heard of -- historically, it was a Jewish law that benefitted the poor and underprivileged of society. Farmers were required to leave some of their grain (and other crops) behind as they harvested, allowing the poor to walk along behind them and pick it up for their families, so they would not starve. In modern times, this practice has extended to other cultures, particularly in America, where gleaners from all walks of life and social statuses come together and pick up the sub-par produce left in fields by farmers, then ship it off to the needy.
EndHunger.org is a huge gleaning network that connects people across the country with the gleaning ministries in their states. You can volunteer to glean by contacting them on their home page (or a regional office) and offering your services and your time. Or, if you are in need of food, the organization will get you in contact with a local church or other spot where food is kept for distribution, and you can do your part and get the food you need.
Organizations that feature a gleaning program often request that you play your part in order to receive a portion of the food. That means picking up gleaned food from various drop-off points -- bread and produce are the most common types of food -- and then redistributing them to places you attend where gleaning takes place: churches, community center, or parenting co-ops. Then, you are allowed to take a portion for yourself.
If you want to help out, try to get in contact with a local food bank or church that has a reputation for a hands-on approach to the surrounding community. Many of these organizations have gleaning programs and would love to have you and any family members willing to pitch in join them in their efforts to stop hunger in America.
More ways of being thrifty are listed on our main page, GarageSaleCow.com -- so come join us today.