Category Archives: los angeles volunteer

Big Pick #7 Results Are In!

Big Pick #7 results are in!! This morning at CSUN’s Orange Grove, just over 4500 lbs were harvested by FF volunteers, all going in to the hands of those in need in the coming days! A HUGE thank you to everyone who volunteered out in the heat today!

Moor Fruit in Moorpark

Those of us in FF leadership were BOWLED OVER by the attendance and participation at yesterday’s pick in Moorpark – about 50 volunteers from local high schools, churches, food pantry groups + hardcore FF folk showed up to tackle an amazing hillside orchard – We finished in record time harvesting well over 100 crates of Valencias in about 2 hours – total weight to come .

The community involvement was something you all should be proud of  – the energy could not have been better and the commitment more pure.  Most of the fruit stayed local, going to the pantry at Catholic Charities in Moorpark, with some also going to SOVA – We greatly appreciate the help of all those involved setting this up including: Patricia, David, Martha, Ryan, Charles, Jim and all who came out  – We hope to see you up a tree before long!

Big Sunday – Bigger can be better

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Finally coming out of the aches, pains and citrus bliss of an incredible weekend…

We are proud to say the FF team grew by leaps and bounds this weekend, and they all should take a bow: whether it was Bari, Win and Byron holding down the forts as pick leaders in Reseda and North Hollywood or the folks like Wendy, Deborah, Robert, David, Judy , Martha, Charles, Emily, Luke, Rich and Elizabeth who helped coordinate the over two dozen properties we gleaned for Big Sunday weekend – or the over 100 volunteers who picked and picked – EVERYONE’S energy was amazing.

Riding up to SOVA Sunday to borrow their van (yes, FF STILL NEEDS A VAN!) I was once again enlightened to the diversity of who Food Forward  serves. There sitting on the bench waiting for the pantry to open were Latino couples, elderly white men and women, Black mothers with babies, middle-aged homeless individuals, South Asian immigrant families…basically a huge cross section of LA – a sobering reminder that any one of us could be on that bench should the fragile systems that hold our lives and families together fail.  That fact was driven home more as I arrived to our Northridge home based (courtesy of the Buratti family) to see volunteers arriving early – white, Latino, Asian, Black young, old…

Food Forward serves our community – and is made up of our community – a fact I am incredibly proud of.  And the fact we, as a massive team inspired by the Big Sunday events, harvested nearly 12,000 lbs of fresh fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste, made it all the better.

We hope to post more pix soon but for now, here are a few.

Also, – BIG shout outs to Erica, Marie and Carl for AMAZING hand-eye-volunteer coordination and stamina which has been going on behind the scenes for weeks on end – and the SOVA and MEND for incredible ongoing onsite support 🙂

See you all up a tree soon!

Best Wishes to those in the Fruit World


Great weekend/New Community

We had a great day leading our first pick in South LA as part of the S LA Earth Day Celebration – A group of spontaneous volunteers took charge of a local grapefruit tree and brought back over 500 lbs of fruit to share with the crowd attending the festival.  It was a great way to intro FF to the South LA community and we look forward to more picks in the area.

This productive pick was followed by a fine neighborhood pick in Valley Glen with a small but dedicated group or mostly new volunteers who harvested nearly 400lbs for SOVA from a very tall and challenging tree.

Thanks to all who picked, tabled and got involved this weekend.

A Great Weekend in Fruitland

We are just coming off our first weekend of spring and can’t thank all the folks who came to support us on the many FF fronts we had:  Byron started with a small but sweet pick on Friday with 131 lbs of oranges, soon followed by Scott Daigre and the TOMATOMANIA crew who warmly welcomed us to their event where we SOLD OUT of the First Vintage of FF’s  Preserved Meyer Lemons in just a day and a half – for those of you lucky folks who got them – enjoy them or “put them up” as the collectors item they now are.  (Email us for Emily’s fantastic crab salad recipe – or send in recipes of your own when you put them to use – we’d love to hear from you.)

Also on Saturday, Erica had an a great pick with CAUSECAST’s crew which yielded over 800 lbs of oranges to MEND.  Causecast wrote up a very flattering blog post about the event which you can see leading off the IMPACT Section of the Huffington Post today! A Big thanks to Heidi and Kristen for organizing the pick and another big thanks to all at Causecast for coming out.

Then Sunday, Capt. Carl and I had two great groups in tandem on which yielded well over 1500lbs combined for SOVA – final tally still to come.  The massive 40 foot grapefruit tree I tackled with my small by very able bodied crew was dedicated to Dawn and Charles – two core FF volunteers and spirits – who are moving north and who we will dearly miss! Thanks to everyone who came out and participated, tabled and picked.

Please check below for FRESH JUICE – a month of citrus is just around the corner  :))

Food Forward Casual Foodie Meet up…

In answer to folks wanted to “get social” we’re having and informal meet up on April 2nd at the first Friday gourmet food truck gathering in Venice – meeting for eats n drinks at the Brig pkg lot on Abbot Kinney starting at 6pm…Look for the FF folk in tshirts and no fruit picking allowed !

Tandem Tango’ Picks

FF volunteers reveled in being valley boys n girls today as two teams harvested over 500 lbs of tangerines, grapefruit and avo’s for LA hungry.  The rains which kept the Juicy Fruit Express of the road yesterday (postponed till 4/10) gave way to big puffy clouds and great vibes all around as we picked in Valley Glen and Sherman Oaks (to delightful fruit tunes courtesy of Lou Reed, Abba and Fine Frenzy, among others)

It was great for us to see the new and old faces as the FF family continues to grow – thanks to all who gave their time today…with a special shout out to  the new tree climbers in the group and the great home owners who donated their trees to the cause.

Dont forget – next week after the time change FF resumes our famous midweek sunset picks – with St. Patty’s day being our first – did  I hear someone say cocktails to follow…?  Check FRESH JUICE posted below for details – there are still a few spaces left – so give a shout if you’d like to try a great new way to end your tired midweek routine: