The Heartside Gleaning Initiative Project, founded by Grand Valley professor Lisa Sisson, has made incredible strides in its mere one season of operation. The project gathers unsold produce from the two local Grand Rapids farmers markets, and brings it to lower-income residents of the Heartside Neighborhood of the city. These residents don’t have access to this bounty of produce regularly, and the Gleaning Initiative Project has made the possibility of regularly having such fruits and vegetables more of a reality.

While this project has undeniably made great waves of progress in the well-being and nutrition of the Heartside Neighborhood, one primary issue is that many of the recipients don’t have substantial experience in cooking with a wide array of vegetables. The goal of the Gleaning Workshop Project is to provide the residents of the Heartside Neighborhood with a basis of techniques, tips, and practices to aid them in preparing the produce they receive from the Gleaning Initiative Project.

The Gleaning Workshop’s plan is to conduct eight workshops per year, each focusing on a different aspect of nutrition and food preparation. Our hope is to develop a well-balanced curriculum of workshops, that will both aid and inspire the recipients of Gleaning Initiative produce in making healthy and delicious food choices.