In February 1985, a Bible study group of four men reflected on the goodness The Lord had brought to their lives and the debt of gratitude they felt. They were inspired to do something in return. Their vision was to glean from local farms and fields the estimated 300 million pounds of food that was going to waste annually and to establish a neighborhood food pantry from which food could be distributed to the needy. A site was found and leaders stepped forward to purchase a warehouse. The Gleaners organization had quite miraculously become operational within six months of the group’s humble idea. By the end of 1985, over 75,000 pounds of food had been distributed.
The original warehouse was located at 2030 14th Street, Bakersfield. In 2000 the Golden Empire Gleaners relocated to its current location at 1326 30th Street off the Garces traffic circle in Bakersfield.
Throughout its 33 year history the Golden Empire Gleaners has fed millions of Kern County residents. Last year alone, over 200,000 people were served by distributing 2 million pounds of food. Currently the Gleaners averages 18,000 people per month served.
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