The purpose of this survey is to better understand the extent to which gleaning is happening in the state of Connecticut. Gleaning is the practice of going over a field and harvesting by hand the crops that remain after a farmer has harvested what he or she plans to use and sell. Gleaning can be done in large organized groups, which may transport the food to a food bank or other donation center, or it can exist on a more informal basis—for example, when a farmer has a relationship with a neighbor who picks leftover crops for personal use.

Nationwide, the single largest component of solid waste sent to landfills is food waste. Not only does wasting food squander the valuable energy and resources that go into producing it, but, in states where landfilling occurs, as food waste decomposes in the landfills it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which contributes to global warming. The information gathered from this survey will help the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection understand the potential of gleaning as a means of reducing food waste and recovering edible food.

The survey should take less than 5 minutes, and your participation is greatly appreciated.