Food is Free Tacoma

The Gleaning Project

photo - Seed Starts and Supplies

What is the Food Is Free Tacoma Gleaning Project?

Food is Free Tacoma Gleaning Project is a project designed to gather and distribute the fruit produced by the huge number of fruit trees located on private property in Pierce County. Food Is Free Tacoma manages Pierce County’s Gleaning Project within the City of Tacoma. The Pierce County Gleaning Project is funded through the Pierce Conservation District.

How does the Gleaning Project work?

The gleaning project is a volunteer powered program of Harvest Pierce County that works to reduce local produce waste, provide more fresh food to those in need, and build community. This project is a response to the dramatic increase in the number of people seeking food assistance in our county.

We organize Glean Teams of volunteers, and we schedule harvests from both farms and backyard fruit trees. We harvest the fruit when it’s ready, and then distribute the bounty with our community at our weekly summer FIG share days. Volunteers also get to take a portion home as a thank you for their work.

Harvest season runs from June – September, however, there are sporadic harvests in the Spring and Winter as well. 

How do I volunteer for the Gleaning Project?

Register here to be a volunteer for the Gleaning Project 

We harvest trees that have been registered with Harvest Pierce County. If you or anyone you know has fruit trees and are willing to donate your harvest, register here!  

Can my kids help too?

Food is Free Tacoma harvests fruit trees which require us to use ladders and pole pickers. Because of this, small children are not allowed on our harvests because of the risk of injury. If your child is over 10, they can help out as long as you sign a waiver. 

How much produce does this program harvest and distribute?

We harvested and distributed 11,000 pounds (enough to reach our 20% goal for about 550 people!) of gleaned fruit in 2021.