CC Foodie – Food Forward’s Backyard Harvest Wants to Shake Your Trees – Matthew Lorton

dscn1438Summer is over and it’s time to step out from the air conditioning and soak in those perennial autumnal aromas. Plump persimmons, gorgeous guavas, and peak pomegranates have ripened to fruition and are begging to be picked. With more registered properties than ever before, we are going to have our hands full of fresh fruit and need your help with upcoming fall harvests.

Who are we? Since 2009, Food Forward has rescued over five million pounds of fresh, local produce that would otherwise go to waste—helping to nourish people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. Our grassroots, volunteer-powered teams have picked from nearly 1,000 properties all across Southern California, donating 100% of their harvests to local food banks and pantries that serve their communities.

Home to some of the best growing conditions anywhere in the world, the healthy trees of Southern California consistently produce an abundance of premium, quality fruit. Often yielding far more than homeowners can possibly consume or even give away, much of the crop falls and splits on the ground, creating waste and mess. This bounty on the branches hangs in stark contrast to Los Angeles’ serious food insecurity problem. Twenty-five percent of L.A. county children are nutrient deficient—making it hard to do their best in school or lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

This is where we come in. Led by a trained “pick leader”, our fully equipped volunteer teams can pick hundreds of pounds of fruit in just a few hours, bringing your fresh, nutritious fruit to the children and families in need. As we continue to grow, Food Forward is always looking for more properties and volunteers. It just so happens we are currently expanding our operations in nearby Westchester! Our superstars in Westchester include:
Holy Nativity Church – whether it’s allocating resources or being a local influence, and serving as our Westside equipment hub, this church and their congregation have been outstanding
Food Pantry LAX – a great partner and receiving agency, Food Pantry LAX is always promoting Food Forward while providing emergency assistance to local families and the homeless
Emerson Ave. Community Garden – volunteer-powered (like us!), organic, and sustainable, the Emerson Ave. Community Garden supports Food Forward and gives us a constant shout-out through their networks in the Westside
If you or someone you know has fruit to donate, register with us at and a harvest coordinator will work with you to organize a pick.

Looking to volunteer? Pay it forward and check out to find a harvest happening near you; the picks are fun, highly rewarding, and a great way to make new friends and give back to your neighbors and community.

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