Giving Compass' Take:

• Seth Bodine at Harvest Public Media writes that through partnerships between nonprofits and farmers, extra crops can go to those in need instead of being wasted. 

• What other strategies are there to combat food waste while keeping people fed?

• Learn about food education and sustainability practices from small farms.

While COVID-19 has hampered farmers this year by forcing many farmers markets and restaurants to close, usually it’s the weather that threatens crops. A practice called “gleaning” helps save crops from going to waste while feeding those in need.

Heavy rain was causing flooding all along the Arkansas River. Before Joe Tierney knew it, water from the nearby creek was creeping forward onto his farm in Bixby, Oklahoma. He had to evacuate, leaving behind fields full of vegetables. All Tierney could do was watch the water get closer and closer, he says.

That’s when he called Katie Plohocky, the executive director of the Health Community Store Initiative, which aims to bring fresh produce to food deserts in Tulsa. Plohocky says she remembers going to Tierney’s farm and seeing the vegetables in jeopardy.

Katie Plohocky, executive director of the Healthy Community Store Initiative, stands in front of fields on Joe's Farm in Bixby, Oklahoma on July 30. Plohocky helped salvage leftover crops on the farm last year when the nearby creek flooded.

“Just romaine lettuce the size of my torso that was growing and just all of these rows and to know that it was going to be underwater in two days all of that it was going to be ruined, for me was just … wow,” Plohocky says.

Read the full article about farmers partnering with nonprofits to help the hungry by Seth Bodine at Harvest Public Media.