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Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network, Newsletter Winter 2006

Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network, Newsletter Winter 2006

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Published by Linda Greenwood

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Published by: Linda Greenwood on Mar 19, 2011
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One of MAGNET’Sfarmers madean offer of aquantity of white pinetrees IF wecould cut and transport them to our distri-bution sites . Here it was only twelve daysuntil Christmas. One of our two truckswas out of service. We would need per-sons with experience using chain sawswho would be available on Saturday tocut the trees, snake them out from amongthe remaining trees without damagingthem or the remaining trees, load themonto our truck, deliver them to our ware-house in Cheltenham until they could betransported to sites in the D.C. and Balti-more areas, set up delivery sites with per-sons to help unload the trees when theyarrived at the sites, etc., etc.—all within afour day (including Sunday) period. Our fearless leader (Tom Chandler, the Execu-tive Director) presented this logisticalnightmare to our very small staff whoagreed that a Christmas Tree giveawaywould not only be a grand gesture—theysaid “We will do it! It will be done!”Each staff member on the telephone con-ference call volunteered to accomplishtheir chosen task and the miracle hap-pened! One staff member contactedsomeone they knew who had experiencein cutting trees and who had buddies, allof whom had chain saws and were willingto work all day Saturday to get the treesoff the farm. Another staff member con-tacted the delivery site personnel whoproceeded to commandeer their supportpersons to handle the actual work of help-ing to unload the truck, assist the recipi-ents of the trees and be generally helpfulat the sites. Announcements were han-dled by the site supervisors to alert their constituents of the date and time treeswould be available at their parking lots.Altogether a total of 137 trees were givenaway. Reports were made that at eachsite, delivery to recipients took less thanan hour. We have received many “Thank You’s” from those who received the trees,some of which were 8 ft. tall, all beauti-ful, fresh, aromatic white pines. The en-tire project was completed within theaforementioned four days without a hitch.A true miracle occurred and we wereblessed for helping it to happen!
Miracles Happen
Winter Spring 2006
A Publication of the Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network 
Hunger andMalnutritionReally Do Exist
It’s the little things we do or sayThat mean so much as we go our way.A kindly deed can lift a loadFrom weary shoulders on the road.Or a gentle word, like summer rain,May soothe some heart and banish pain,What joy or sadness often springsFrom just the simple little things!
- Willa Hoey
MAGNET’Smission is tofight hunger byharvestingfresh fruits andvegetablesfrom farms andorchards. Our vision isderived fromthe Christian commitment of feedingthe hunger. We continue the centuriesold Biblical practice of gleaning fieldsand orchards, and packing facilities.Food that would be otherwise wasted isdonated by farmers, harvested byvolunteers, and distributed tolow-incomecommunitiesandindividualsthrough foodproviders suchas food banks,shelters,churches andsoup kitchens.Poor health conditions and a markedlack of good nutrition is prominent inmany neighborhoods suffering frompoverty, lack of access to freshproduce, unsanitary living conditionsand ignorance of general principles andpractices.
A Message From Our D.C. Coordinator
Recently, Janie Boyd,MAGNET’S Coordinator for the Washington, D.C.area expressed severalcomments regarding glean-ing and the benefits derivedfrom that activity. The fol-lowing represents her ob-servations on the subject.When asked several questions by theExecutive Director to define “gleaning”,Janie stated that she believed that glean-ing uses people who involve themselvesin harvesting the food that is made avail-able by farmers to feed people who arereally in need of help in providing suffi-cient sustenance for themselves and/or their families. She stated that she regu-larly speaks to audiences regarding theadvantages of gleaning. Her remarks tothose groups include an appeal for peo-ple to involve themselves in recoveringthe tremendous quantity of produce thatis left in the various farmers’ fields.She spoke of the problems many peoplehave in affording high-cost fresh pro-duce. One of the cases she spoke of wasthe exhorbitant price at that time of string beans (she quoted a price of $1.99per pound in one local supermarket) thatwas unaffordable by manypersons. She compared thatprice against string beans thatshe had snapped after pickingthem herself. There was nocomparison to the freshness of what she had personallypicked and the state of those inthe market she was visiting,she said.Janie spoke of one publicschool, Tubman Elementary, that hasserved as a distribution site for manyseniors every Tuesday. More and morepeople are benefiting from food deliv-ered to the school by Magnet and theCapitol Area Food Bank.One of the ob-servations Janie made was that the sen-iors who line up and wait for producedeliveries never fail to show up eachweek so that they may take advantage of the free, fresh produce made available tothem. They are at the school regardlessof bad weather (rain, snow, wind, heat,etc.) which indicates that there is a needfor the gleaned fruitsand vegetables tothose populationswhose incomes areextremely limited.A special emphasiswas indicated by MsBoyd for churches tobecome involved inthe gleaning effort. Many of them al-ready have vehicles that can be utilizedfor transporting their members to andfrom a gleaning event. She exhorted thepastors of those institutions to consider having their congregations arrange for gleaning events so that the churches canbe more responsive to the incidence of malnutrition and hunger in their neighborhoods.Janie also spoke of thegroup homes and homeless shelters thatare served by the Gleaning Network.Another incidence that Janie spoke of was one woman who traveled by bus tocome such a distance to get food. Tub-man Elementary School has ooffered itslocation seven days a week for food dis-tribution. The need for food is very greatin northwest District of Columbia. Everyweek volunteers do the recovery of foodin Magnet’s warehouse location when nofield gleaning takes place.Some of the produce thatis gathered by the Glean-ing Network is not of per-fect quality with smallspots in some of the itemsbut a few persons havefound ways to cut awaythe spots and preparedishes such as peach cob-blers, applesauce, etc.Janie spoke of people having to dig intotrash/garbage cans and dumpsters to getfood to eat in the nation’s capitol. Shealso spoke of the hurt she feels when sheobserves abject hunger in the capitol of the wealthiest country on earth.The work of the D.C. Food Council wasdiscussed. Various issues of the gleaningeffort are discussed at the meetings. Anumber of those issues pertain to theexpense of operating the Gleaning Net-work and that resources that are neces-sary to mobilize the financial means toassist in the gathering of the food distrib-uted to thosein need. Sheexpressed her disappoint-ment in re-gard to thelack of in-volvement of churches in the gleaningeffort.
In an effort to provide for a coordinatedeffort to organize effective communityaction in fighting the hunger that is ram-pant in the mid-Atlantic area, MAGNEThas formed groups of interested partiesinto what is termed Community FoodCouncils. The function of these groupswill be to involve grass roots participa-tion in determining solutions to the manyproblems confronting citizens attemptingto establish sustainability of the deliveryof one of the essential items for life:FOOD. Many of us are aware of the dis-appearance of many of the family farmsthat once existed within close proximityof our cities. We have noted, sometimeswith alarm, that much of our food is nowtransported thousands of miles before itreaches us. Much of the nutrition, there-fore, is dissipated during the long dis-tances between harvest and use. In addi-tion, more and more people are beingsubjected to increased chemicals throughpesticides that were outlawed in thiscountry but still used in other countriesfrom which we now buy crops. Whether we realize it or not, we are beginning toexperience more malnutrition than wasevident a few years ago.A series of food councils has beenplanned throughout this region. It takespeople, however, to tackle and devisemethods to alleviate hunger, combatobesity, and improve the flow of fresh,nutritious food to our neighborhoods. If you would like to become a part of thesolution, contact one of our coordinators.Time is of the essence. Two Food Coun-cils have already been formed: one inD.C. and one in Baltimore. Let’s put our efforts together and come up with solu-tions! Contact us through the coordina-tors. All calls will be returned. We needall interested parties to make this work!
Volume 1, Issue 4
Page 3
Even if you know you should get five or more servings of fruits and vegetablesand at least seven servings of whole grains and beans every day according tothe National institutes of Health, do you really know how much this is? TheAmerican Institute for Cancer Research offers some help. Try imagine the fol-lowing common objects when serving up your next meal.
A single serving of: Is about the size of:
Vegetables raw your fistVegetables cooked the palm of your handMeat a deck of cardsCheese a pair of diceGrilled fish a checkbook Butter, margarine, peanut butter or Cream cheese your thumb (joint to tip)Pasta 1 scoop of ice creamSnacks (pretzels & chips) a handfulChopped fruit a tennis ballApple a baseballPotato a computer mouseSteamed rice a cupcake wrapper 
In The Fast Food LaneGleaners Make Life Healthier
Everything seems to move morequickly these days, and your eatinghabits have a hard timekeeping up. Just so youdon’t leave your stomachbehind, you may be oneof the 20 million peopleeating take-out foodevery day. In fact, theaverage person eats outthree or four times a week. The badnews is, according to a recent study,the more often you eat out, the morelikely you are to be overweight.Don’t think you have to be a slave toyour stove just to stay slim and trim.If you must eat “on the go”, you canstill watch your calories and fat andkeep your weight under control.Here are a few suggestions for avoiding some of the more commonpitfalls of fast food dining.
Watch your portions.
Resist thetemptation to “supersize” or “biggie”your order even if it does meangetting more food for your money.Remember you aregetting more calories,more fat and more poundson your bathroom scale.
Don’t pass up the beef.
Many people order chicken or fish at fastfood restaurants, assum-ing that they are lower in fat than ahamburger. That isn’t always thecase. For example, a McChickensandwich from McDonald’s has 80more calories and about 8 moregrams of fat than a Quarter Pounder.A Filet of Fish sandwich isn’t muchbetter.
Don’t eat and drive.
You need topay attention to what you’re eating.Drive-throughs have become incredi-bly popular, but take your bag of goodies home or back to work beforeyou start munching. You’ll eatslower, enjoy your meal more, andbe less of a danger in traffic besides.
Skip the soda.
A small 12-ouncecola contains about 150 calories. If you get the super-duper-thirst-quencher size, you could down atleast twice that amount. Adding 300empty calories to every meal canmake a huge difference by the end of a week. Of course, you could get adiet soda, but if you really want to doyour body a favor, order a large,refreshing cup of water instead.

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