Gleaning in the UK - Documentary and Portrait Photography by Chris King

Meet the Gleaners

During my exploration of food waste in my Food Is… project, I started documenting the activities of The Gleaning Network – an organisation that mobilises volunteers to visit farms where edible food is being left to rot.

The volunteers – gleaners – come from the area local to the farm, and on occasion from London, and while their motivations for coming are inevitably quite similar, their stories are not.

In an attempt to ground my project and to break up the dynamic, documentary images of people picking fruit or chopping the stems of cauliflowers, I decided to start taking semi-posed images of the gleaners themselves, as well as interviewing them to find out their motivations for participating in the gleaning, and their thoughts on the amount of food being wasted on the farm.

Here are a few of those images:

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And here is a multimedia piece I created that introduces the gleaners from one gleaning session in September this year – showing the process of gleaning, as well as the gleaners’ themselves and their thoughts on farm-level food waste:

The Gleaning Network is a great campaign, and needs and deserves more support. If you would like to become a gleaner, then visit the Feedback website (the parent organisation), and sign up to be kept informed of future gleaning sessions.