Don’t throw it away! Give it away!

Published 11:40 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

While visiting the farmers’ market in Winchester Saturday morning, I noticed a sign for something I had never heard of, GleanKy.

Wanting to learn more about why they were in our farmers’ market, I began asking questions of Rachel Dupree, who was representing them Saturday.

I was very impressed with what I learned about GleanKy, which is an organization that does all it can to prevent hunger throughout Kentucky.

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While I feel so blessed I have never suffered many hunger pangs in my lifetime and none were any that I knew I wouldn’t be fed sometime soon.

However, it always made me mindful of how horrible it must be to have to stay hungry.

To me, there is no pain equal to that empty, sick, gnawing feeling.

I did not know hunger growing up or as an adult. We never had much growing up, but our tables held plenty of food and we had all we needed. My mom and dad worked hard to make sure of that even through sickness and hard times. Much of the food we had in the winter came from our hard work in the summer and what we had canned or froze.

I was given permission to include the contents of a pamphlet Rachel gave me.

It explained the problem is this: Up to 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. every year goes to waste. At the same time, 15 percent of U.S. households are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food to live active, healthy lives.

Their solution: GleanKy picks up excess fresh produce from farmers’ markets and grocery stores and harvests excess from fields. That food is then delivered to their partner recipient sites that are helping address food insecurity.

Your role: Farmers and grocers have donated more than 1 million pounds of produce to GleanKy since 2010. If everyone in the U.S. helped rescue just 5 percent of the food we waste, we could feed 4 million Americans every day.

At one time in Kentucky, this could have never been possible, since grocery stores have a “buy by” date that they are required to have on their produce for it to be at its freshest. They used to have strict requirements so no one could even get into their trash for fear of being sued. Now, there is a law that protects them and they are able to deliver food to those who need it while it is still edible

All in all, it sounds like a good system, and I am happy to know there are those being fed who have been hungry many times in their lives.

I have to admit, I am also being more mindful that I do not need to cook more food than what my husband and I will consume at each meal.

That has been hard for me, since I came from a large family. I used to cook for work hands on the farm, and then my own family where so many times the girls had someone home with them.

I also learned I had been eating too much at meal time than I should and the weight was piling on. Oh yes, and the leftovers were normally thrown out.

Aren’t we nearly all guilty of this in America? Can any of you relate to this?

I also would like to thank the farmers in Clark County who are working hard each week to bring fresh produce to our county. Please go support them. Many are working two jobs to keep their families going.

Buy local, and what you do not need, remember the hungry. Nothing can make me sadder than to see an abused child or a little scared or hungry looking child on television.

Hopefully, hunger in Kentucky is getting met. We should remember that we may not be hungry, but someone is. 

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.