What is Elgin Gleaners?
Elgin Gleaners is a program run through YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin in partnership with Southwestern Public Health during the months of June through November focused on promoting and facilitating the sharing of food resources in our community by joining volunteer gleaners (pickers) with volunteer homeowners or farms to harvest fruits and vegetables.
How it works
Training is provided at our Orientation Night at the start of our picking season as well as several visits to a local farm for hands-on safety training and picking tips. Pick days are pre-scheduled through our Program Coordinator and volunteers are contacted to see if they are available throughout the summer and early fall for the set pick dates. You may volunteer for as many or as few as you are available for. Fruit picked is then shared equally between homeowners, volunteers and community food programs.
Ways you can volunteer
Share your Fruit: Too much of a good thing? Do you have a fruit tree on your property that produces more fruit than you can handle? Help us put that food to good use at community food programs in Elgin St. Thomas. Join us for our Orientation Night to complete your Homeowner Package to firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Get your hands dirty: Success depends upon what volunteers bring to this community group. The ability to harvest fruit can be taught. What we need are volunteers who are committed and excited to be a part of this project! Join us for our Orientation Night to complete your Volunteer Package to email@example.com to get involved.
Upcoming Events for our 2019 Season
In addition to our picks that will come up throughout the season the following are important dates for you to remember.
Volunteer Orientation Night (Mandatory) – Thursday, June 20th at 6-8pm (Held at YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin 16 Mary Street West, St.Thomas)
This evening is for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer gleaner for this season’s picks or for volunteers interested in sharing their product from their home or farm. **Must be 18 years or older to register as a volunteer** Orientation will include review of how the program works, registration/waivers to be filled out and a meet and greet of our committee members. Volunteer packages will be provided so you do not have to print the materials at the links above, unless you wish to.
On the Farm Training with Mary Anne (Mandatory) – Tuesday July 2 starting at 6pm (Held at Great Lakes Farms 5111 Union Rd, Port Stanley)
This evening is mandatory to ensure that all volunteer pickers are trained on safety, maintenance, trimming & will also include our 1st pick of strawberries fresh from the farm. Light refreshments and treats included.
On the Farm Training continues with Mary Anne (optional) – Tuesday August 27 starting at 6pm (Held at Great Lakes Farms 5111 Union Rd, Port Stanley)
With harvest season approaching we will travel back to the farm for training on harvesting, fall maintenance and trimming as well as enjoy an apple pick. Light refreshments and treats included.
Gleaners Pot Luck – Wednesday Nov 13 @ 4:30pm (Held at YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin)
This is an opportunity for all volunteers to celebrate our season by coming together for a pot luck dinner where each member will contribute a dish for everyone to enjoy. Dishes will be based on the fruits and vegetables gleaned throughout the season. Please advise in advance if you have any allergies that we should be aware of.
For more information contact YWCA Elgin Gleaners Coordinator at 519-631-9800 OR 1-800-461-0954 (toll free) OR email firstname.lastname@example.org
Waiver of Liability – Participants must be 18 years of age or older and not being subject to any other disability at law, understand that there are some risks and hazards involved in harvesting fruit and vegetables. Volunteers, registered homeowners/farmers, YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin and SouthWest Public Health are not responsible for any injury, damage, or loss of any kind suffered by a volunteer during, or as a result of, participating in any program, activity or event related to Elgin Gleaners. Waiver of Liability and Release must be signed by all participants during Orientation Night or prior to our first On The Farm Training date.