Tag Archives: urban hunger

New Fruits and lots of juice!

The last few weeks, our fruit loops have been busy harvesting fruit, fruit and more fruit all over Los Angeles to help feed the hungry and June is off to a great start!

Just before Memorial Day, we had a huge harvesting weekend in Northridge & Sylmar which brought in over 2,000lbs of grapefruit, oranges & lemons… The fruit loops were off for the long holiday weekend and then back in Sherman Oaks this past week for more grapefruits.

Today was Day 1 of our juicy fruit weekend bonanza with JF & CQ harvesting our very first blood oranges (Sylmar) and apples (Reseda), and more lemons & grapefruits bringing in a total of 526lbs going today to MEND!

Just a little warm up for the BIG PICK #7 tomorrow at CSUN!

A BIG thanks to all the volunteers who join us on our weekly picks and support us in so many ways and we look forward to seeing you all in a tree soon!

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Congrats to CNN Hero Gary at AmpleHarvest.org!

A BIG Congratulations to CNN Hero Gary Oppenheimer at AmpleHarvest.org! Gary is a big supporter/fan of Food Forward and we sincerely appreciate your support and friendship! http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/05/20/cnnheroes.oppenheimer.profile.cnn

AmpleHarvest.org enables your neighbors in need to get garden fresh produce that might otherwise be wasted.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive & MEND Poverty

A huge thank you to an amazing group of Food Forward volunteers who came out on Saturday to the Sherman Oaks post office and to MEND Poverty to help support the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive! We helped sort, box & load over 10,000lbs of food brought in by the Sherman Oaks mail carriers and are still waiting for the final… total of food donated to MEND in just one day (definitely over 100,000lbs)… A big thanks to Sonia at the Sherman Oaks Post Office and to Rich, Luke and the entire MEND team for letting us be a part of an amazing day!

Juicy Fruit Express – a Loooong but Successful Adventure

“Adventure” was probably the key word that can describe the FF crew’s day on Saturday when we ventured in a veggie oil-powered bus out to Bako to pick a hundred-plus tree property.  We’ll opt for the less-eco-friendly model next time  (15mph up the Grapevine grade was a wee bit too much even for us hardcore eco-folk) but the time spent getting to and from our location was rewarded with amazing weather, great trees and a spectacular mountain top lunch put together by our host Chris and Jody and their great family – And to keep it all in perspective, 3200 lbs of beautiful Valencia oranges were harvested by our crew – all staying local and 100% going to the Kern County Food Pantry. Thanks to everyone who picked with us.

We even made it on the local ABC affiliate : http://www.turnto23.com/news/23120221/detail.html

Thanks to Dusty Stiles for contributing his photos and to Erica, Marie and Carl for pulling it all off!

Looking for fruit trees in LA!

If you live in LA and have healthy fruit trees (or in a neighborhood that does), please get in touch with us as Food Forward will participate in Big Sunday on May 1st and 2nd – the LARGEST volunteer event in all of Southern California.

We will be harvesting fruit trees in neighborhoods across LA, so we invite you, your friends, family and/or neighbors to take part in this incredible event by being a FRUIT DONOR.

What does it entail? You just sit there while a few of our (fully insured) volunteers do all the work of picking, schlepping and hauling – Sure you might offer us some lemonade or an off color joke to keep our spirits up, but honestly all you need to do is agree to take part and you will received a TAX DONATION RECEIPT for EVERY POUND WE HARVEST. Quite the deal, we know, so don’t tell too many people…better yet, tell everyone including your neighbors!

More importantly, please call us at 818-530-4125 or email Erica our Harvesting/Property Coordinator at erica@foodforward.org – to let us know you are on-board – and while you are at it, check out the great work we do and numerous press stories on us at our website: FOODFORWARD.ORG.

You will be proud to be part of our growing family of FRUITANTHROPISTS – now over 150 strong and growing weekly!

3rd Volunteer Meet N’ Greet

Hello Food Forward Volunteers & Supporters!

Food Forward is now one year old! We have achieved many amazing accomplishments that we would love to share with you. To get a chance to catch up, meet you all, introduce you to some of the work we are doing, and ways you can be involved with us, we are holding our second Volunteer Meet n’ Greet at the SOVA Food Pantry, one of our receiving partner pantries, on Thursday, February 4, 2010. They are located at 16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91406

We’ll start off promptly at 7pm with a short tour of this amazing facility dedicated to alleviating hunger and poverty in the community through food distribution and offering a wide range of supportive services and then give you the lowdown on Food Forward, what we are up to, what is coming up in our second year of operation. We will talk about volunteer needs we have currently, get your ideas and answer any questions about how we work and how your energy can be added to our work feeding LA’s hungry.

Please RSVP to this email or call the FF hotline: 818-530-4125 and feel free to bring a friend or two. We look forward to seeing you at SOVA!

Sincerely, The Food Forward Team

WHAT: Food Forward’s 3rd Volunteer Meet N’ Greet

WHEN: Thursday February 4TH, 2010 @ 7PM-8:30PM

WHO: For New, Current or Interested Volunteers

WHERE: SOVA 16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91406.

HOW: RSVP to carl@foodforward.org or 818-530-4125

100000 lbs…its official

Having never had the chance to lead a group – let alone one with the energy, creativity and great spirit of Food Forward, today was humbling indeed.

As massive clouds gathered, the biggest storm system in a year on its way through LA, I awoke knowing we had a small window to get through our last picks of the final weekend of our first fiscal fruit year.  Saturday produced a fruit tear like none we had ever attempted with Erica, Carl, Marie and volunteers old and new, plus Frank from MEND, helping them pick their way through over a half dozen properties – with every single piece of fruit going to someone in need.  All setting the stage for today to take us to the very satisfying round 100,000 lb mark. Yes, dedication…and a wee bit of insanity mixed in for good measure.

It was a year ago today that myself and a lone volunteer, Karin, who had responded to an ad on Craigslist, gleaned 85 lbs of tangerines off my pal Heather’s tree in damp cold – with little idea of even how to pick the fruit, let alone how to pack it.  Today, over a dozen and a half of our core  team, new pick leaders in training, family and spouses returned to Heather’s backyard and the tree where it all began, to complete the harvesting and delivery of our fiftieth ton of fresh free fruit for the hungry of Southern CA.  Inspiring indeed.

I feel so lucky to be able to have led this amazing clan, and with them build a brand new non-profit from 2 volunteers to over 900 – in the worst economy since the great depression – all on a miniscule budget of money but an amazing surplus of human spirit.  Nearly a hundred picks under our belts – the volume, support and good will we have experienced is truly humbling…and now leads us to year two.

Big properties, new volunteers and pantry partners are all there. As we go through some (but hopefully not too drastic) growing pains and enter year two, I know I speak for Erica, Marie and Carl when I say  “THANKS!!” to all – SOVA, MEND, our funders, volunteers, fruitanthropists, our families… for helping Food Forward truly become the community grassroots organization it now is –

Time to toast – once or twice…

Bravo Crew :))