University of Maryland Extension

Gleaning, Food Banks, and a Farmer’s Liability

Paul Goeringer

Photo by Edwin Remsberg

This post should not be construed as legal advice

            It has been bitterly cold here lately, but soon (hopefully) the weather will turn warm and farmers will be back in the field planting vegetables for the upcoming season.  As these vegetables and fruits are harvested, farmers may produce excess amounts to meet current contracts, CSA shares, farmers’ market needs, etc., and look at supplying excess crops to area food banks.  Allowing the collection of leftover crops is known as gleaning.  Food banks will potentially have volunteers who come to harvest these leftover crops for use by the needy.  But many farmers worry that they potentially face liability if a volunteer is hurt on their farm while gleaning crops for the food bank.  Maryland law does offer protections to farmers allowing gleaning on their property.

To continue reading this post, click over to the Maryland Risk Management Education Blog.


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