Food Forward Blog
July’s Volunteer of the Month: Kai Boyd

Kai Boyd started gleaning with us back in December 2013 and quickly became a Glean Team Lead at the Mar Vista Farmers Market. As a lead, Kai is super reliable and professional, in addition to being a really cool and easy-going dude! He’s helped to train a number of other Glean Team Leads and has been instrumental in establishing our presence at one of the newest farmers markets in our Farmers Market Recovery Program. Kai’s an incredible and personable presence at our Mar Vista gleans, and you can read more about him below!

So tell me, how did you get started with Food Forward?

I came across Food Forward on the LA Works website, which aggregates volunteer opportunities across the LA area. I volunteered a few times, and then realized that I wanted to take the next step and really become part of the team as a Glean Team Lead!

What are some other projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?

I was just accepted to the Taproot Foundation as a marketing manager, which puts working professionals in touch with non-profits for pro bono consulting. Really excited to use my skills and passion to give back. I also volunteer at the Ballona Wetlands in West LA, restoring the native landscape.

What is your favorite memory from working with Food Forward?

One thing I learned from Food Forward is the importance of good teamwork. More than once, just one volunteer and myself would have to handle the entire Mar Vista market, yet we would do it so efficiently and on-point. I’ve really met some great people through Food Forward, and it goes to show the quality of person the organization attracts.

Any wisdom you’d like to share with the world about life?

I think it’s too easy in a place like LA to get caught up in the small things, like getting a parking ticket or traffic on the 405. We really need to appreciate all the opportunities a vibrant city gives us, whether it’s socially, professionally, or personally. Never forget to give back to communities that give so much to you as a person – it’s easy to forget and not realize how much they’ve enabled you to grow.

Read More: Posted in Farmers Market, Farmers Market Recovery, Los Angeles Volunteer, Uncategorized, Urban Fruit Gleaning
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A little poetic love for Food Forward!

Creativity is in the air at the Culver City Farmers Market! Check out this lovely poem written about Food Forward by a freelance poet who writes poems for free at the market on Tuesday nights (pictured below with two of our Culver City volunteers).

Read More: Posted in Community Action, Farmers Market, Farmers Market Recovery, Los Angeles Volunteer, Uncategorized, Urban Hunger
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Volunteer of the Month: Chelsea Frazee!

Say hello to our June Volunteer of the Month, Chelsea Frazee! Chelsea has been one of Food Forward’s most reliable Glean Team Leads since she started at the Hollywood Farmers Market back in September 2013. One of the biggest markets we glean at, Hollywood requires many volunteers to collect the 1,000+ lbs of produce that we donate to five different receiving agencies, which Chelsea handles each week with a great smile and awesome attitude. Her love for gleaning makes her an amazing Food Forward ambassador at the Hollywood Farmers Market as she inspires vendors, volunteers and receiving agencies with her hard work and passion. Thanks Chelsea, you rock!

So tell me, how did you get started with Food Forward?

I had spent two years working in LAUSD. I hated seeing all of the junk that the kids were eating. More than what the kids were eating, I hated seeing that junk food was the only food readily available. I started looking for ways I could help more people have more access to healthy food. That’s when I stumble across Food Forward’s website.

What are some other projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?

I have been wanting to break into the blog scene for quite some time but never knew what I wanted the theme to be. I have started developing a blog centered around food security and sustainable food. I want to feature ideas, individuals, and organizations (like Food Forward!) who are contributing to a better future for our food system.

What is your favorite memory from working with Food Forward?

There was one Saturday that me and one other volunteer were the only two people gleaning at the market. She was weighing all of the produce while I was collecting all of the boxes. We were obviously really behind, and several of the vendors had already left. Their boxes were sitting on the street and people were trying to go through them. A couple of the farmers helped out by watching the boxes as we tried to collect all of them. It really showed how much the farmers really support our mission. That’s also the day I made a few friends at the market.

Any wisdom you’d like to share with the world about life?

Give more than you think you can.

Read More: Posted in Community Action, Farmers Market, Farmers Market Recovery, Los Angeles Volunteer, Uncategorized
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Volunteer of the Month: Chrissy Wahlstrom
Chrissy Wahlstrom really shines as a Food Forward harvest leader! She is down for anything with a smile and great attitude, and is a pro at leading large groups. Whether she’s stepping up to the plate by doing back-to-back events or driving the Food Forward truck in a pinch, we love Chrissy’s enthusiasm, know-how and cool-as-a-cucumber approach. Learn more about our May Volunteer of the Month below!

How did you get started with Food Forward?

About two years ago I was looking for apartments via Craigslist. During one showing, I met the current tenant who also happened to be employed at Food Forward. I think we spent more time discussing the volunteer opportunities than the lease! I began volunteering almost immediately afterwards.

What are some other projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?

Other projects of mine include web / graphic design for local nonprofits, continued education, getting my saxophone chops back in shape, and perfecting my homemade / homegrown tomato soup recipe (suggestions welcome).

What is your favorite memory from working with Food Forward?

All of my picks are memorable – from learning about zapote (yes, that’s a fruit) to climbing up in trees – but what really comes to mind is parallel parking the BIG FF truck at MEND. On the first try. Booya!

Any wisdom you’d like to share with the world about life?

Nothing’s going to happen until you step out the door.

Jenna, Chris and Chrissy at our Super Volunteer Party
Read More: Posted in Los Angeles Volunteer, Uncategorized Tagged
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CITRUS SUNDAY!

Citrus Sunday Weekend

Saturday, May 17th and Sunday, May 18th

Food Forward will be hosting fruit picks in the Granada Hills and Northridge neighborhoods as part of Citrus Sunday weekend! We’ll be picking 40,000 lbs of fresh citrus with 100% of what we collect going to local agencies that serve those in need.

Please sign up to join us in the fruit pickin’ fun! Click on an event below to register:

Saturday, May 17: Grapefruits at Omelveny Park; Granada Hills, CA: 10 am – 11:30 am

Saturday, May 17: Grapefruits at Orcutt Ranch; West Hills, CA: 10 am – 11:30 am – 14+ Volunteers Only

Sunday, May 18: Northridge Blockparty Pick AM Shift: 9 am – 11 am

Sunday, May 18: Granada Hills Blockparty Pick AM Shift: 9 am – 11 am

Sunday, May 18: Northridge Blockparty Pick PM Shift: 12 pm – 2 pm

Sunday, May 18: Granada Hills Blockparty Pick PM Shift: 12 pm – 2 pm

Check out all of our upcoming events on our Events page!

Read More: Posted in Uncategorized
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lbs. of fruit picked to date

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