According to Food Forward, 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted. At the same time, one in six individuals lacks adequate access to food — especially fresh produce. Food Forward connects produce that would normally go to waste with the people who need it most. Working throughout the Los Angeles, California area, Food Forward “rescues” 300,000 pounds of food per week; through their many diverse partners, over 100,000 people per month gain access to fresh, high-quality food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Staff and volunteers collect unused fresh fruits and vegetables from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. The produce is then delivered directly to senior centers and schools, community groups, homeless shelters, LGBTQ support organizations, recent immigrants, veterans, those with HIV/AIDS, and many others. Most of the recipients live in low-income neighborhoods, many of them classified as “food deserts.”
Volunteering for Food Forward means visiting farmers markets and getting to know the vendors while you “glean” their unsold produce, or gathering with friends in a sunny orchard to pick whatever fruit is in season. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Food Forward’s volunteer pool is vibrant and growing — a community that bridges gaps of all kinds in the diverse Los Angeles area.
We hope to see more projects like Food Forward sprouting up around the world!
To learn more, visit foodforward.org.