Information for New Volunteers

Thank you for registering as a volunteer with Rust Belt Harvest! We look forward to meeting you. By volunteering with the Gleaning/Transport program, you are agreeing to the Terms of Participation.

First, registration

Everyone who participates in a harvest or a transport must first be registered as a volunteer. Once you are registered, you are eligible to sign up for harvests and transports, and you don't have to register again. You can go to the Volunteer page to renew your registration.

Find out about harvests

For large harvests, we will send an email with a description of the harvest and a link to the Harvests page.

We do not send out an email for smaller harvests, but they are posted on the Harvests page. We sometimes find out about crop donations on very short notice, so please check your email or the Harvests page regularly.

Sign up for a harvest

Harvest opportunities are posted on the Harvests page. To sign up, click on the link, and then type in your name. You must type it exactly as you did when you first registered, so we can match your record in our database.

You must read and check off the Liability Waiver to be added to the roster. Then click on the button that says 'Signup for this harvest.'

How will I know where the harvest is?

After you sign up, you'll see a page with the address of the harvest and helpful information, such as whether particular tools are needed. This is the only place the actual address appears on the website so write it down or print it out.

You'll also receive an email with the same information and a link back to that web page. If you want to check out your history of participation or have the email resent, go to the 'Volunteer' button on our homepage.

Please cancel if you can't make it!

If your schedule changes, please cancel so someone else can take your spot. The email you receive will include a link where you can cancel. Your courtesy will also help us schedule the right number of volunteers for the available produce.

When you arrive

When you arrive you will be shown where to park and be checked in. We'll provide a brief orientation with helpful tips and information about the property.

Every adult who attends a harvest must be a registered volunteer and must have signed up online for that harvest. Children do not need to register or sign up, but must be supervised by an adult who is on the roster. Please note that not all harvests allow children. We will post specific information when harvests are child-friendly.

That is all the basic information! Please keep reading to find answers to questions that volunteers often have about the Rust Belt Harvest program.

We depend on you!

At each harvest we depend on help from volunteers who are willing to volunteer any amount of their time. If you are available to help direct traffic or assist with intake, check off the volunteer box when you sign up for a harvest. If your help is needed, we may email you beforehand or assign you a task when you arrive.

Who runs rustbeltharvest.org?

rustbeltharvest.org is an independent non-profit program. Our mission is to connect people with food that would otherwise go to waste, reduce hunger throughout the area, and build a sense of community.

As a non-profit organization we rely on donations to support our efforts. If you share our mission and would like to help, click the 'Donate' button on our Home page.

What should I do if my contact information changes?

If you are changing contact information like your email address or phone number, go to the Volunteer page and click on 'Update.' If you need to make a name change, write to Dick Yates at rustbelt@gleanweb.org.

Why won't the signup page let me on the roster?

You may have typed your name differently than you did when you initially registered. You also need to check off the Release and Waiver of Liability. If you are still unable to access the roster, contact Dick at kokuaharvest@gleanweb.org or (503) 991-5525.

I forgot to write down the harvest address!

The email you receive after you sign up includes a link to information about the harvest, including the address. If you have signed up for the harvest but have lost this email, go to the Home page website and click on the 'Volunteer' button. Click the button there to get another email. If you have any trouble, contact Dick.

How are harvests planned?

We meet or speak with crop owners and discuss the property and harvest logistics. The size of the harvesting volunteer roster is determined by the amount of produce, the number of available volunteers and staff, and parking space. Our goal is to accommodate as any people as possible.

We are indebted to property owners and commercial growers, who all share our mission. Commercial growers are able to donate for a variety of reasons. Sometimes produce is left over because it wasn't sold or is about to be tilled in. These factors mean that we don't know which large-scale crops will be available each season, and often have only a few days' notice to plan harvests.

What should I bring to the harvest?

  • Bring water to drink, and please take care of any bathroom needs before arriving. We usually will not have access to a restroom.
  • You may want to bring gloves for handling equipment or picking fruit and vegetables.

What should I wear?

We suggest sunblock, a long-sleeved T-shirt, long pants, comfortable closed-toe shoes and a hat.

Has the produce been sprayed with chemicals?

Our harvests take place at a wide variety of properties. We always ask the property owner whether or not their fruit has been sprayed with non-organic chemicals in the last three years, and we include that information when we schedule the harvest.

Do I have to stay for the entire time?

It is generally preferred, but not required, for volunteers to stay for the duration of the harvest. Since space is limited at many of the harvest sites, we ask that you register to harvest only when you can arrive on time and stay for the majority of the time until the crop is picked. Most harvests are scheduled for no more than about two hours.

Who should I contact if I have other questions?

Please check out the Contacts page. We are always happy to help.