Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grapefruits, Lemons, and Volunteering, Oh My!

On Sunday I was lucky enough to spend some time helping out one of my favorite LA do-gooder organizations: Food Forward. If you haven’t heard about them, Food Forward is an all-volunteer grassroots group who convene at properties they have been in invited to and glean the excess fruit on their trees, donating 100% to local food pantries.

Food Forward Pick - Kat

This organization has an energizing spirit, allowing Angelenos to feel awesomely great about helping out someone else while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s an absolutely wonderful group because it’s a win-win for everyone: the people who allow their trees to be picked get a charitable tax deduction and a clean tree (it’s actually healthier for it to get picked like this) and the food banks get some fresh fruits or vegetables (something that they are usually very short on). This spirit is so contagious that Food Forward now knows people who are planting fruit trees in their backyards so they will be able to donate in about 5 years (the standard time it takes to get good fruit off a tree).

Food Forward Pick - Tree

On Sunday I traveled to a backyard in Sylmar and attacked a grapefruit and lemon tree with vengeance. The result: 14 boxes of citrus that were donated to the SOVA Community Food and Resource Program. Along with SOVA, Food Forward also partners with Mend Poverty to distribute the produce they glean to a total of over 30,000 clients a month across Southern California.

Food Forward Pick

Truthfully I volunteer for this organization for selfish reasons, it quenches my insatiable thirst to climb trees and pick fruit. The fact that we are helping people reconnect to their food system and combat urban hunger is icing on the cake.

Food Forward is always looking for trees and/or volunteers so check them out if you want to spend an inspiring weekend afternoon outdoors (tree climbing not necessarily a requirement).

Explore. Think. Eat
The Edible Skinny
Food Forward Pick - Grapefruit

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