Volunteers glean fields for local food banks

Volunteers with Fields of Grace harvest peppers from the research fields at Columbia Basin College.

Volunteers from Fields of Grace trudged out to pepper research fields at Columbia Basin College Wednesday morning.

They were there to pick peppers– not for themselves, but to donate to local food banks.

“They have their ag program here where they’re doing research, and when they’re done the peppers– they don’t have an outlet for them,” said Linda William with Fields of Grace. “So, they invite us in to glean the peppers, glean up the field and get them to people that can use them.”

Last year, about a dozen volunteers picked about 1,500 pounds of peppers.

The organization also gleans produce from Washington State University’s onion fields, and other private and commercial growers in the area.

Without gleaners, the peppers and other produce might be left, unused, in the fields until they’re tilled under prior to planting a new research crop.