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Va. farm fields opening to 'gleaning'

Friday - 5/17/2013, 4:11am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- More than 100 Virginia farmers are turning to the age-old practice of gleaning to help feed the needy.

The growers are working with the Society of St. Andrews to clear their fields of excess fruits and vegetables. The society is devoted to that practice of feeding the poor.

Last year in Virginia, society volunteers gleaned 2.5 million pounds of fresh fruits and produce. Nationally, the group collected more than 33 million pounds.

John Cromwell Jr. is owner of Bay Spring Farm in Virginia Beach. He says he'd rather see the produce collected from his fields rather than see them turned over in the field by tractors. He's welcomed gleaners to his fields since 1986.

The farm products gleaned from fields are delivered to agencies that serve families in need.

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