Group takes leftover crops to feed hungry

Pick of the produce

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - Barbee Farms in Concord only harvests about two-thirds of their crops. Farmers typically will only harvest what they can sell, leaving thousands of pounds of perfectly edible food out in the fields. That food might go to waste if it weren't for groups like The Society of Saint Andrew.

The group organizes volunteers to come and pick the second harvest or "glean" the fields. Last year they took more than 50,000 pounds of food and donated it to food banks and shelters.

"Usually food that's in the field in the morning is on somebody's plate by the night," said Jean Siers, the area coordinator for the agency.

Thursday morning, students from Charlotte's Freedom School were the volunteers picking and loading corn into bushel sacks. Despite the mud and wet conditions, the kids were able to pick more than 1,000 pounds of corn.

Siers says the food comes at no cost to them and is a great way to turn what would go to waste, into usable food for the hungry.

Farmers like Tommy Barbee say it's a win-win because they don't have to see food go un-used. "Nothing does me any more good than to see that crowd leave with food to be distributed among the community, said Barbee.

The Society of Saint Andrew is constantly looking for volunteers to glean area farms and transport the food to local agencies. For more information check out their website at

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