(The Food Forward Team!)
I was lucky enough to attend Food Forward’s celebration party for the harvesting of thier 1,000,000th pound. That’s 1,000,000 pounds of fruit going to the needy and hungry of SoCal since Food Forward started only 3 years ago!!! As FF said recently in their Fresh Juice newsletter, “Can we get an AMEN...and a glass of orange juice...and maybe a little Vodka thrown in for good measure?!”
Food Forward is a total favorite of the Edible Skinny as they are nothing but a win-win-win-win. Volunteers get to spend couple of hours in the California sunshine picking fruit and climbing trees (Hooray!). SoCal Food Banks such as SOVA and MEND Poverty receive desperately needed fresh fruit and veggies. The people who donate their trees get a tax write off for the market value of fruit that would otherwise go to waste. And the tree is healthier for being picked of excess fruit. All in all totally amazing!
Food Forward's also got some amazing things in the works, programs that are nothing short of (wait for it, wait for it….) Amazing!
- SIPPING TO SHARE THE ABUNDANCE - Three local LA restaurants (Mezze, Wood & Vine, and the Charleston) are generously donating 50% of the price of a featured citrus-inspired cocktail to Food Forward from Friday Aug 24th and Sept 24th. If you’d like to meet the Food Forward crew they’ll be doing Happy Hours to Fight Hunger on Friday August 31st at Wood & Vine (6280 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood) from 6-8pm and at The Charleston (2460 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica) on Friday Sept 7th 6-8pm (they already did Mezze earlier this month).
- FARMERS MARKET RECOVERY PROGRAM - the Farmers Market Recovery Program is a new initiative by Food Forward to administer a volunteer based, reliable, systematized collection of produce from farmers at the end of markets that would otherwise go to waste, 100% of which will then be donated to agencies serving those in need. In just three afternoons since starting this month their "Glean Team" gleaned over 3,200 pounds of top grade produce from the Santa Monica and Studio City Farmers Market – 100% of which has gone to agencies just 3-5 miles from the markets themselves. For anyone interested there’s still a couple of volunteer spots open at the Santa Monica Wednesday market – each position offers a monthly stipend and is the perfect way for students, stay at home moms n’ dads, or food-savvy folks with free Wednesdays to get involved in fighting hunger in the communities. For more info and to request an application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Also, Executive Director/Founder Rick Nahmias was named a US delegate to the Slow Food Conference 2012 in Turin Italy, and will be traveling there in October to spread the Fruity Gospel on behalf of Food Forward!
Amazing!!! (Totally needed to add one more in!)