By LISA FREDERICK
Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:24 p.m.
Because fruit becomes ripe at this time of the year, the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club recently organized its annual fruit tree gleaning to benefit All Faiths Food Bank.
With help from Pine View School Key Club members, Kiwanians visited Sarasota residents who responded to advertisements and offered their citrus trees for harvesting.
Fred Scheerle, past president of the club, and Key Club members Sarah Brickman and Samantha Glover composed one of three teams collecting fruit the morning of Feb. 19.
Resident Ruth Hardin said she was pleased to have her grapefruit and oranges picked and put to use. The gleaning of the fruit is a great idea, she said, because much of the fruit would otherwise go to waste.
Samantha, a freshman and future club secretary, said the one morning they spent will result in many nutritious mornings for the needy.
"I think it's really great to help other people less fortunate than yourself," she said.
Sarah, a sophomore and Key Club president-elect, agreed.
"No matter how unfortunate you are there is always somebody less fortunate than you," Sarah said.
There is an art to picking the fruit.
"The really good ones are up at the top," Sheerle said as he looked high up on a tree at a residence in the Forest Lakes community.
"You can imagine how many families this will serve," he later added.
The groups gathered crates and boxes full of citrus that weighed in at nearly 1,500 pounds, according to the food bank.
"It is a big deal," said Dan Dunn, executive director of All Faiths Food Bank, of the impact the effort will have on people who will receive fruit.
Much of the fresh citrus goes to the homeless at the Salvation Army since it is very difficult for them to obtain Vitamin C, he said.
In addition to accepting citrus, the food bank encourages donations of all fruits that residents can donate.
"It's so wonderful that Siesta Key Kiwanis has taken on this mission," Dunn said. "We hope that other social groups will work in their neighborhood and have a gleaning day. It's nice to see the Siesta Key Kiwanis leading the way with this."
Mar 29 2011, 03:12 PM