Sunday , June 25 2017
Food Forward volunteers pick fruit from homeowner's backyard.

Food Forward Picks Fruit from Backyards for Hungry

Much like how Newton discovered gravity, the idea for Food Forward, came from fruit falling from a tree. The non-profit picks the fruit from willing homeowner's backyards to donate to local food pantries. In this case the guy with the bright idea was Rick Nahmias, the founder of Food Forward. It came as he was walking his dog one day and noticed how perfectly good fruit would would end up rotting on the sidewalk.

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The effort started in North Hollywood with  a few volunteers that would go around to neighbor's backyards then donate the fruit to food receiving agencies nearby. Now, six years in, the program has hundreds of volunteers working in various cities and also collects the left over produce from the 128 farmers markets in LA County. In 2014, they started to collect fruit from wholesale produce vendors. The next step is to bring Food Forward to the East San Gabriel Valley. Jack Heer, the representative for the area, says their plan is to start off in Claremont and Pomona then to keep going from there. "Our goal is to reach out to homeowners that have fresh fruit trees and to recruit volunteers." The organization is also reaching out to receiving agencies like Inland Valley Hope partners who are interested in providing fresh fruit to their clients. Heer says that Food Forward  not only connects people to food but also brings communities together. "People from different walks of life come together to better the community." To date the running count for the number of pounds of fruit collected so far is a little over 10 million pounds. Nahmias didn't discover gravity, but the weight of Food Forward’s efforts is felt in the bellies of families all over L.A. County and will soon be felt in the East San Gabriel Valley. To volunteer with Food Forward sign-up at foodforaward.com/events or e-mail volunteer@foodforward.org. Follow Food Forward on social media: facebookTwitter Social Media IconInstagram Social Media Icon

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