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In 2004 a small youth group full of high school students and their leaders decided to load into 2 vans and drive across the continent from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

The trip sounded simple--pack tents to sleep in an apple orchard, chop donated vegetables and fruit (surplus which would have been unused otherwise) all day as they arrive on site from farmers, and layer them on trays to be dehydrated. Once dehydrated,  the vegetables would be mixed into nutritiously balanced dried soup-mix bags that could be used by various partnering organizations to feed starving people globally as they reach out and show Christ through their ministries.

The trip was a huge success. The group learned that a volunteer hour of chopping has the potential to produce 60 servings costing about 10 cents per serving to make.

Results and Impacts from Being a Member of the "Glean Team" and Giving Your Time:
The idea is simple, the reward is astounding. For every pound of fruits or vegetables that would likely be thrown away/spoiled because of it's appearance, 3 servings of dehydrated soup-mix can be created by managing the food correctly and dehydrating it on time.


The vision and energy behind the idea for Sus Manos Gleaners stems from this trip, but goes far beyond that in impact. West Michigan is a prime location to join in "The Gleaning Vision" as it is abundant in agricultural diversity and has a volunteering spirit that cannot be beat.

Inspired by this church youth group trip to the similar organization Okanagan Gleaners in British Columbia, Sus Manos Gleaners came into being in 2008. Our mission is to engage the West Michigan community to supply and dehydrate excess produce for use by Christian missions to feed hungry people in their overseas ministries.

Sus Manos Gleaners seeks to obtain surplus or discarded produce from various sources such as local farmers, corporations, and individuals to be processed and dehydrated using volunteer labor and industrial dehydrating equipment.  Once dehydrated, the produce will be compounded into a soup base and fruit snack in such a way as to maximize its nutritional value. This end-product will be packaged in 55-gallon drums to be distributed by various Christian overseas missions as part of their ministry to populations facing critical food shortages. The dried product maintains its nutritional value but is obviously much easier and more economical to ship and maintains a much longer shelf-life.


 We are excited about our next steps in carrying out our vision. We hope you will join us and be a part of something special!

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