Food Forward harvests locally grown food from private homes and public spaces and then distributes their bounty to organizations that serve those in need.
Southern California is a cornucopia for our nation’s fresh produce. In the process of keeping up with urban growth, prime agricultural zones were transformed into burgeoning subdivisions – particularly through the 1950′s, 60′s and 70′s. Some of the original orchard trees escaped the brunt of the urban plow. Today, the lucky survivors continue to bear fresh fruit or vegetables – in many instances, the agricultural resources are under managed and their bounty is overwhelming. For homeowners and public land managers, a large percentage of their annual crop can easily go to waste.
Rick Nahmias had a vision. Prompted by watching his neighborhood fruit fall to the ground, he enlisted volunteers to help him harvest other backyard growers’ (private orchards and public spaces’) bounty. Today, Food Forward touches thousands of lives. It truly is a grassroots organization that has come together to support the community (plus, they pick low sodium goodies like oranges, avocados, lemons, and more).
We were lucky enough to spend Earth Day with Food Forward and CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability, joining more than 250 Food Forward volunteers (Earth Day/CSUN is one of Food Forward’s larger events). The crowd consisted of solo individuals, families (like us), and various other volunteer groups – all of whom showed up bright and early wearing smiling faces, and they filled the air with energy. We were inspired that one person’s dream has the ability to create a spark and start a local movement that affects so many other lives. We have since learned that Sunday’s harvest yielded 13,484 lbs of fruit. Way to go!!
Here are some of our Earth Day 2012 photos:
Food Forward’s mission is to reconnect people with people – through food – by bringing together volunteers and neighbors to share in the gleaning and distributing of locally grown food from private homes and public spaces which is then distributed to local food pantries and organizations serving those in need.
They’re a registered 503(c)(3), which makes it really easy to contribute in so many different ways. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org