“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:22
The concept behind Ruth’s Harvest is to develop a ministry of harvesting late season farm produce and delivering these foods to those in need within the community as well as assisting those who are able to glean for themselves. We named this ministry outreach after the Bible Book of Ruth.
The Hebrew word for “glean” means to collect, gather up, or pick up. Gleaning was the practice of gathering grain or other harvested items that were left behind by the reapers. The unharvested crops were primarily gathered for the poor who had no means to pay for these crops. In today’s communities we still see many in need. The greatest needs are oftentimes widows, the elderly, and lower income families struggling to put food on the table.
In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, the Israelites were commanded to allow the poor to follow behind reapers and pick up leftover crops at no cost to the gleaners. This was a provision of the Law of Moses to provide food for the poor, orphans, widows, and resident foreigners. The law specified that land owners were required to leave some of the harvest for gleaners: “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:9–10).
We want to do our part in helping feed the hungry and we need farmers to help us do it.
Will you consider making Ruth’s Harvest a reality?
We are currently seeking local farms who would be willing to participate in this community outreach. Please contact Pastor Jeanine if you are a local farm who would like to partner with us in feeding the McHenry and Lake County area residents.
It is our prayer and vision that others will commit to cheerfully and generously allow those in need to glean from the blessings they’ve received and in turn bless others in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Serving the Bread of Life,