Society of St. Andrew's ministry reduces food waste, improves the environment, and feeds the hungry, bringing faith to life by combining good stewardship of God s creation with care for those in need in our midst. 50 million Americans struggle to put food on the table every day, including children, the unemployed and underemployed, seniors, disabled persons, the working poor, and those who are homeless. Yet there is no scarcity of food in this country. The USDA estimates more than 25% of the food grown in the US is never made available for people to eat. Much of this food is left in the fields after harvest; much more is deemed excess or unmarketable and is simply dumped in landfills to rot. The Society of St. Andrew mobilizes more than 30,000 volunteers each year across the US to glean in farmers fields, picking, digging, or gathering nourishing fruits and vegetables remaining after harvest, sharing them freely with feeding agencies nearby. Additionally, Society of St. Andrew sends hundreds of tractor-trailer loads of fresh, but unmarketable produce to food banks nationwide. It s good food that because of cosmetic, marketing, or transportation factors simply would not be sold in the grocery store. Last year Society of St. Andrew put 100 million servings of healthy food on the tables of our hungry brothers and sisters at a cost of about 2c a serving. Since 1983, Society of St. Andrew has shared 2.1 billion servings of food. Often these nutritious fruits and vegetables are served at table in soup kitchens and shelters mere hours after harvest!
Goals & Objectives
1. To engage 34,000 individuals each year, both those in need and those with plenty, in gleaning and bagging fresh produce to feed the hungry. 2. To meet physical hungers by putting 90,000,000 servings of healthy, nourishing food on the plates of persons at risk for hunger in the US each year 3. To provide 10,000 opportunities across the US each year for congregations to be involved in hands-on mission to feed their hungry neighbors 4. To meet spiritual hungers by providing quality seasonal resources for personal and congregational spiritual growth. 5. To offer 12-15 work/study mission retreats each year, involving 600-900 young people, families, college students, and adults in gleaning, study, and worship, focused on the problem of hunger in the US and the world. 6. To promote self-development in the Appalachian region by providing 600,000 pounds of seed potatoes to impoverished families, so that they can grow food on their own land to eat and share with their extended families. 7. To practice good stewardship of financial and human resources, so that more than 90% of every gift given to Society of St. Andrew each year continues to go directly to feeding the hungry. In 2012, audited overhead was just 3.01%.
1. Actively seek new farmers, packing houses, and food distributors throughout the country with fresh, but unmarketable produce to donate through Society of St. Andrew. 2. Strengthen connections with farmers who have worked with Society of St. Andrew in years past to grow additional opportunities for gleaning and produce donation. 3. Build relationships with partner agencies (soup kitchens, shelters, food banks, food pantries, emergency food programs, senior & child nutrition programs, etc.) in 48 states that can work quickly to distribute produce provided by Society of St. Andrew to persons in need. 4. Involve 100 new congregations each year in hands-on ministry and service with Society of St. Andrew, gleaning in fields or hosting produce drops to feed their hungry neighbors. 5. Improve and strengthen publicity and promotion throughout and beyond The United Methodist Church to enhance awareness of and involvement in Society of St. Andrew's work, so that even more hungry Americans can have healthy food to eat.