Cache Community Gleaning

Committed to Addressing Food Insecurity and Food Waste

Our Program

Our mission is to harvest produce that would otherwise be wasted and feed people who can use it. 

Cache Community Gleaning coordinates available ready-to-harvest produce from tree and garden owners with local volunteers to pick and donate the produce to organizations who can use it. Cache Community typically begins picking the first week of July and harvests until the last week of October. Reach out to our email usugleaningteam@usu.edu to inquire about tree/garden registration or volunteering opportunities. Follow us on social media @cachegleaning for the most up-to-date information. 

Register Your Fruit Trees & Garden

 

Loaded apricot tree

Register your tree or garden with Cache Community Gleaning to be harvested at no cost. We will do our best to reach out during specific seasons, although it is your responsibility to email us a week or two before your tree or garden is ready to harvest. We appreciate notices ahead of time to allow us to coordinate and plan volunteer sessions. 

Register your tree or garden through our online form.

Keep in mind we do not guarantee a harvest or the picking of all your produce.

As a reminder we do not provide other yard services such as pruning, thinning, spraying, or tilling. We pick the produce that may otherwise not be used and donate it to organizations. If there is fallen fruit below the tree please inform us that you'd like us to pick it and we will do our best to meet your needs. 

Volunteer to Glean Produce

 

Volunteers holding picked produce

We are continually in need of volunteers to harvest, lead, or assist in other capacities with Cache Community Gleaning. Many of our volunteers are either affliated with USU or community members from near or far. There are typically 2 gleaning sessions a week each for 2-3 hours.

Volunteers are required to signup through AirTable and to fill out the form entirely before volunteering in any capacity. 

  • USU Aggies: Register to volunteer using the "single sign-on" by typing in "Utah State University" and entering your A number and strong password. 
  • Community Volunteers: Register by creating an account or using GivePulse.
Volunteers who harvest and pick produce are required to wear closed toed shoes and be respectful of the tree/land owners property. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to have adult supervision during the gleaning sessions. 

History

In 2018, Dr. Carrie Durward and Food Preservation Intern, Cassandra (Cassie) Twiggs began a fruit preservation project wherein they needed fruit available at a low cost to create fruit leather and applesauce. At the time Kara Bachman, was the Sustainable Food Intern, reducing surplus food and working with SNAC, the USU food pantry. Cassie began harvesting produce from local properties creating fruit leather and applesauce for SNAC. It was then that they realized this project had potential to run in future years picking and transporting a large amount of produce that would otherwise go to waste. Cassie's internship was soon over and Amria Farnsworth became the upcoming fruit preservation intern who began brainstorming with Kara about future gleaning endeavors.

In 2019, Kara participated in an Alternative Breaks trip with the USU Service Center to Tucson, Arizona where their group worked with Ishkashitaa, an organization that integrates UN refugees into the community while teaching gleaning techniques, involving the community, and increasing food security. This sparked an idea that it truly was possible to continue the dream of a gleaning organization in Cache Valley, Utah. In July, 2019 Kara, the Sustainable Food Intern and Amria, the Fruit Preservation Intern collaborated to arrange the first gleaning sessions.

In 2020, Charles Miller was hired as the first gleaning coordinator. It was a difficult year with COVID, but Charles managed to organize volunteers and treeowners to pick nearly 11,000 lbs of produce. Charles added charisma and energy to the gleaning program while continuing the mission and purpose of gleaning in Cache Valley. 

In 2021, Emma Watts, Sustainable Food Intern and Sarah Moore, SNAC Co-Director continue to lead Cache Community Gleaning into it's third year of gleaning produce that would otherwise go to waste.  

Volunteer picking grapes

Volunteers picking blackberries

Volunteer with fruit picker

Volunteers with apricots

Our Support System

USU Extension

Dr. Carrie Durward and the department of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Food Sciences allows us to utilze their ladders, apple bags, and fruit pickers. The NDFS students and Dr. Carrie Durward's interns work to transform lower quality fruit into fruit leather and applesauce. 

In addition, they continually assist in the funding this program.

Cache Community Food Pantry

Much of our picked produce is donated to the Cache Community Food Pantry. They continue to allow us to use their weight scale to measure our poundage and fridge storage when we are overloaded with apricots and apples. They also continue to assist in funding our program. 

USU Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC)

SNAC distributes a good portion of the produce picked by the program. With lower quality fruit they create jams and apple cider.

Many of the same student leaders who manage SNAC also manage Cache Gleaning!

Association of Gleaning Organizations

AGO offers a huge support system for Cache Gleaning with informational webinars, ideas, and oppurtunties to learn about other programs nation wide.

Student Sustainability Office

The Student Sustainability has been a long time supporter of Cache Community Gleaning by providing ideas, resources, and funding.