My name is Norma Cole. My husband Jim and I became involved with conversations around harvesting the food that was going to waste in our county about 4 years ago. I was attracted because I could see so much potential for what this type of organized teamwork could offer. I saw potential beyond the amazing mission of capturing produce which was going to waste and getting it to people whose ability to have nutritional food is limited.
For me, (a former social worker), one important aspect of GleanSLO is the strengthening of relationships within the teams who go out to glean. People from church groups, schools, etc. can deepen their connections, as well as expand their sense of being of service to the larger community. Individuals can develop a sense of belonging as they get more involved with gleans. Communities can organize to help pick their neighbor’s trees that might go to waste because the homeowner for various reasons is not able to pick and/or use the fruits. This can potentially deepen the sense of connection for neighbors who might have little contact with each other before. There is also the sense of satisfaction and pride when someone who needs the food for their own family is able to pick and deliver food to the food bank.
My vision is:
That GleanSLO will continue to grow in our ability to rescue produce and get it to our most vulnerable neighbors.
That we will grow in our vision of including the poor to be involved with the harvesting so they can have the satisfaction of giving as well as receiving.
That GleanSLO contributes to our communities developing a culture of deep connection, satisfaction, and commitment in making sure all of our neighbors have access to nutritional food.
I believe we all want to feel connected and feel a sense of contribution to others. GleanSLO offers this in so many ways
I have been honored to be involved with and witness the growth of GleanSLO.
Norma and Jim Cole. Norma Cole is on the Steering Committee of GleanSLO.