With more than 3,000 registered volunteers, Salem Harvest is one of the largest all-volunteer harvesting organizations in the state. The non-profit, grassroots organization connects farmers and backyard growers with volunteer pickers to harvest fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. The group was established in January 2010 and is currently managed by a six-member steering committee.
Here’s how it works
- Many commercial growers and private homeowners have trees, bushes, vines or entire orchards and fields that produce more fresh fruit or vegetables than they can harvest. We invite them to register their crops online. Donations are tax deductible.
- Working closely with growers, volunteer leaders organize harvests to gather the fresh produce. Volunteer pickers sign up online, checking off a liability waiver that protects crop owners.
- At least half of each harvest is delivered to neighborhood food pantries affiliated with Marion-Polk Food Share, and harvest volunteers take home the remainder.
We all benefit
Harvests offer an opportunity for families to work together in the outdoors, meet local farmers and gain a better understanding of where our food comes from. In a state with the highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation, harvests offer local growers a compassionate alternative to letting their crops go to waste and provide low-income families a way to gain self-sufficiency. Parents have an opportunity to teach their children to care for others.
The act of giving empowers.
Meet new friends
Harvests pull together a broad cross-section of the community representing diverse socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups. Hundreds of individuals primarily interested in sustainable lifestyles work alongside people who struggle with job loss and other economic challenges. Children are welcome at most harvests.
Make a Gift
There are many ways to donate. Consider making a tax-deductible gift to Salem Harvest. We have no paid staff or office costs so all donations go directly to our core mission ‒ connecting people to fresh produce. Contact Dick Yates for more information.