Food Forward and CC Farmers Market Partner to Feed the Hungry and Reduce Waste

Did you know that Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food a year! We collectively throw away almost 1/3 of the food we grow today, much of it being the fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables that are so scarce at our local food pantries.

This October 15th, Food Forward ran its first successful food collection at our very own Culver City Farmers Market. A crew of volunteers gleaned almost 400 lbs of apples, greens, tomatoes, and high-quality produce. The collection was donated to local education non-profit, STAR Inc.

You can help. Food Forward – a Southern California based nonprofit connects the abundance of healthy, locally grown food with those who need it most. Beginning in 2009, they harvested fruit from backyards, parks, and private properties in Los Angeles and donated 100% of what they picked to local food banks and food pantries. To-date they’ve donated over 1.7million pounds of fresh produce to an incredibly diverse array of direct-service agencies, helping to feed over 1 million people in Southern California. In 2012 Food Forward launched a Farmers Market Food Recovery Program, and has since spread to 7 markets city-wide, gleaning produce from farmers that would have otherwise been thrown away at the end of market.

How does it work? First, volunteers and a trained volunteer Team Leader pass out Food Forward boxes to farmers, who believe they will have leftovers towards the end of the market. After the market closes, the team collects the boxes full of fruits and veggies. The produce is weighed, recorded, and then distributed to the food banks.

Food Forward programs create solutions to the important issues of nutrition level of those in need, supporting the local food farmers, diverting millions of pounds of waste from landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improved the health of the trees.

What is needed most to continue these great programs are volunteers? The best way to make a difference in your community is to sign up to volunteer or learn more about how to register your fruit trees for gleaning and more at foodforward.org.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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