Gleaning Cornwall has been set up to help feed those in poverty at a time when numbers of people struggling to put food on the table have rocketed, minimise waste and reconnect people with the land. Launched by Regenerative Food and Farming CIC, Gleaning Cornwall harvests surplus food and delivers it to food banks, community kitchens, community larders and cupboards. Produce is donated free of charge on the agreement that it is free to the end user. In doing so they are bringing an age-old practice to avoid waste into the 21st century.


Jeni, gleaning coordinator

A week in the life of a gleaning coordinator

By Jeni Duncan, Mid Cornwall Gleaning coordinator

Hi I’m Jeni and I joined the gleaning network in September 2021 after discovering an advert for the role of area coordinator on Social Media.

My first glean was coordinating the harvest of a huge glut of courgettes along with my fellow coordinator Kels . We were both incredibly keen to get involved, not least as food poverty was beginning to soar within the County and  U.K. wide.

Living in Cornwall, located closely to some of the biggest producers, and seeing crops in the fields that were seemingly going to waste or being ploughed in, it felt like the ideal opportunity to make a difference, and help my local community.

WAC volunteer cooking

Poverty in Cornwall

By Teresa, Gleaning Logistics

Poverty in Cornwall is escalating at a rapid rate. The divide between rich and poor is one of the highest in the country. Hidden among the glamour of this sought after holiday destination is the stark reality of disproportionally high costs of living, coupled with lack of affordable housing and low paid seasonal work.

The number of organisations feeding people in need and the rise in working people who are now homeless, living in shelters, vehicles, sofa surfing and even on the street, is escalating at pace and a direct result of the housing crisis and exasperated by the cost of living crisis.



Healthy food for Cornish families
Crates of dried goods

According to The Big Issue, the UK’s rate of food poverty is among the worst in Europe. Despite being the sixth richest country in the world, millions are struggling to access the food they need. The cost of living crisis is exposing the severity of food poverty in the UK. Millions are being pushed below the breadline as food prices soar, with many struggling to feed themselves and their families.


Tackling farm food waste

Holly Whitelaw – founder of Gleaning Cornwall

One of the problems Gleaning Cornwall is helping to address, is food waste. Farmers, through no fault of their own, often can’t harvest all their crops or it is the wrong size, shape or colour for them to be able to sell. Once they understand what we do and why, we have found that farmers are more than happy to donate such produce, knowing it will be used by those who need it most. 

Read more…

Helping the plight of farmers

Coordinator Sarah with farmer

Holly Whitelaw – Founder of Gleaning Cornwall

Through our work we have learnt so much about the difficulties facing the hard-working people that feed us and how very hard it is to make fruit and veg pay! Many farmers face extreme financial hardship, some having to turn to food banks themselves! They are often portrayed as the baddy but…