We checked out two Pasadena pantries — one at Fuller Theological Seminary and the other at Friends in Deed — that are listed on AmpleHarvest.org, a national website that lets you put in your zip code and get details about where you can drop off bags of, say, oranges, lemons or Swiss chard.
At Fuller Seminary’s food pantry, which serves 450 families each month, Luke Malski says donations can be dropped off at his office in the International Services Office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Parking is behind the building; Luke’s office is on the first floor. He says the pantry’s biggest need is for healthy fresh produce. 250 N. Madison, Pasadena, 626. 584.5396.
At Friends in Deed, a program of the Ecumenical Council Pasadena Area Churches , donations of backyard fruits and vegetables are accepted Mondays and Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Call a day or two before and leave a message to let the pantry coordinator Elizabeth Munoz know you’re coming. 444 E. Washington, corner of Los Robles (enter parking lot on Los Robles), Pasadena, 626. 797.6072.
If you have more than you can pick yourself — or, if you have time and energy rather than a backyard garden, check out Food Forward, the L.A. area’s unique fruit-sharing nonprofit. This group connects volunteer pickers with backyard fruit-tree owners in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys and the L.A. basin. It partners with food banks able to distribute sometimes enormous harvests. Because of high demand, priority is given to fruit donors who are senior citizens, people with disabilities, or have properties with more than 150 pounds of fruit to be harvested.
On the Food Forward website, foodforward.org, you’ll find volunteer and donor sign-up information and a link to the blog listing upcoming “mini-picks” and “big picks.” Kids are welcome on some picks.