July 8, 2009

As unemployment soars, ranks of gleaners grow

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From southern Oregon comes news that there is growth in the ranks of gleaners – low-income or unemployed people who perform a second harvest on farm fields to supplement their food supplies. Whitney Malkin’s look at the practice  in the Eugene Register-Guard notes that advocates of the practice say it helps build self-esteem among the poor. A person whose income qualifies him or her for the gleaning groups must work eight hours a month for the group, and must pay a small amount to cover gas and insurance. Farmers involved get a tax credit worth 10 percent of their crop.

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