“There’s something enjoyable about plucking ripe, orange spheres from the sky and delivering them into boxes…You can meet great people and make friends, or just find your own tree and let your thoughts wander while you help feed people.” (Michelle, Food Forward volunteer)
Food Forward in North Hollywood is a volunteer-driven grassroots group who “rescue” fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste, donating 100% of the produce to Southern California food pantries. Food Forward was founded in 2009 and since then they have harvested a total of 1,974,741 pounds of fruits and vegetables.
They organize a Recovery Gleaning day where they collect boxes of fresh produce from local farmers and then distribute them to direct-service agencies. They harvest lemons in Highland Park and Arcadia, grapefruits in Northridge, valencias in Van Nuys.
Tomatomania is their outreach event, letting people know about signing up their fruit trees for harvesting. They also declare that it is “the world’s largest (and most fun) heirloom tomato seedling sale.” This year, the event will be held in Encino on March 23rd. Click here for details.