Urban Gleaners

Posted on September 25th, 2010 in Uncategorized A couple weeks ago I was cutting through Basta’s parking lot from Flanders on my way to 21st when I noticed a large clear sack of bread chilling by the garbage.  Although not uncommon especially in regards to bakeries, bagel joints and coffee shops, many restaurants are left at the end of the day with unsell-able extras and nothing to do but chuck them/leave them/or give them away.  Laboring under such simple restrictions as late hours and low man-power…restaurants sometimes don’t have a choice but to toss their leftovers.  Well, Urban Gleaners is one of the best solutions to their predicaments.  A network of unpaid volunteers rescues food everyday throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area and delivers it to groups that feed the hungry.  Some of these groups include: Blanchet House, Sunshine Pantry, Friendly House, New Avenues for Youth, Loaves & Fishes and PEAR.  The statistics are shocking-in Portland alone, close to 200,000 pounds of food end up in landfills, which create greenhouse gases.  If only that food could have been distributed to the 4-5% of Oregonians that went hungry last year…or the 13% that were food insecure.  In a city like Portland where you can’t go five feet without bumping into a new restaurant, it’s unimaginable how much food potentially ends up in the dumpster.  If you or anyone you know can contribute in anyway possible please e-mail info@urbangleaners.org or phone Tracy Oseran/Jane Anne Morton at 503 226-8061.

The Portland Tribune did a great article focusing exactly on this conflict and is well worth the read.

Some of us might not be the strongest cooks in the kitchen, so dining out is a way of life.  Try and remember that old proverb “Guard lest the eyes be bigger than the stomach.”  Spilt plates or order small if you’re feeling like lighter fare…anything left on it will most likely meet the trash.

*Thank you to Courtney Francis for highlighting this wonderful organization