I Love to Glean

Working across the County, I Love to Glean helps to increase the capacity to recover and distribute food that would otherwise be wasted to agencies serving those in need. The organization works directly with feeding agencies and kitchens who then distribute to end clients.

I Love to Glean builds capacity for food recovery and distribution in many ways, including the following: 

  • Providing education to retail stores on food recovery laws and methods and putting in place user friendly systems that include dry, cold, and frozen storage
  • Obtaining trucks and drivers to move food across the region 
  • Coordinating volunteers to sort, pack and distribute food
  • Developing a kitchen to store food and prepare value-added products such as fish bone broth and canned jams and jellies from surplus food 

In 2020, I Love to Glean helped to distribute over 51,000 USDA Farm to Families boxes, and 600 fresh fish meals delivered weekly through the Fish to Families program.

The 10-year vision for I Love to Glean is to be an integrated resource and food hub serving all of San Diego County. The vision includes expanded dry, cold, and frozen storage space, adequately equipped trucks to move food where it is needed in a safe and timely manner, and an active kitchen and network of kitchens to prepare meals with surplus food to feed those in need. 

I Love to Glean also hopes to contribute to the local food economy, creating jobs and becoming a financially self-sustaining organization. And finally, the organization hopes to be an important contributor and vital resource for reducing food waste and diverting food from landfills in San Diego County.

Karen Clay is the President and founder of I Love To Glean, a nonprofit dedicated to food recovery and distribution. Karen has been working in food recovery since 2013, supporting the incoporation of Harvest CROPS, and working as general manager of Senior Gleaners. Most recently founding I Love to Glean, and forming the South County Wasted Food Transportation working group.

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