Food Forward Blog
We are Hiring an FMR Driver!

Position: FMR Driver/Weekend Support Staff (Part-Time, 8-14 hrs/Week, 4 days/month)

Position Overview:

The Driver/Weekend Support Staff will report to the FMR Manager and serve two main roles: drive FMR materials between the office, markets, and agencies and act as support staff to the volunteers when out in the field. At all times, the Driver/Support Staff will be representing Food Forward as a community ambassador. The weekly responsibilities include re-stocking the FMR supply kits at farmers market across Los Angeles, checking in with glean team lead (volunteer) and assessing their needs, filling in as a glean team lead or assisting with gleans when needed, and occasionally driving boxes from farmers markets to receiving agencies. The Driver/Weekend Support Staff should be able to lead volunteers at any market in emergencies. The driver is expected to provide great customer service, keep in constant contact with the FMR Manager, and provide weekly email recaps of the weekend’s events.

All work is on Saturdays (3-6 hours) and Sundays (8 hours). Time commitment would be two Sundays and two Saturdays per month (not necessarily on the same weekend), totaling up to 28 hours per month. Additional hours would be available, depending on need. The schedule would be coordinated with the FMR Manager one month in advance.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Valid Class C Driver’s license
  • Ability to drive large utility-style vans and trucks in compliance of traffic and safety laws
  • Clean driving record
  • Ability to lift and move boxes of produce weighing up to 45 lbs from ground to vehicles
  • Availability on Saturdays and Sundays


  • Extremely organized and efficient with excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal communication
  • Team player
  • Good geographical knowledge of Greater Los Angeles
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to make and act on decisions quickly
  • Excited to represent Food Forward when visiting markets and agencies and act as a community ambassador

Wage: $12.00 – $15.00 / Hr Depending on Experience.

How to Apply:

Send a cover letter in the body of the email and attach your resume in a PDF version to  The subject line should read, Farmers Market Recovery Program Driver – (Your Name).  No phone calls please. Please follow these instructions to insure that we process your application. Submissions are due by Saturday, February 28.

Read More: Posted in Farmers Market Recovery, Job Opportunity
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Volunteers of the Month: Jeff & Tanya!

We are lucky enough to have not just one, but two Volunteers of the Month for December: Culver City Farmers Market Glean Team Leads, Jeff Feldman and Tanya Silva!

Jeff and Tanya are a gleaning dream team at the Culver City Farmers Market! They are both employees at STAR Education, one of the amazing agencies that receives produce from Food Forward’s Farmers Market Recovery Program, and have been mainstays at the Culver City market since we started gleaning there in late 2013. Jeff and Tanya help with equipment storage and produce collection every single Tuesday evening and, if that’s not enough dedication, they are constantly going above and beyond to make the CC market gleans more enjoyable and productive for all the volunteers, vendors and staff involved. Read more about this awesome duo below and, hey, why not join them at the Culver City Farmers Market soon?!

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

Jeff: A little over a year ago, STAR Education, the company I work for was chosen as a receiving agency for the Culver City Farmers Market. In addition to picking up the food, I also became a volunteer and lead to help collect what we and other agencies were receiving. I have been attending almost every Tuesday since then, and it continues to be a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to meet other volunteers from Culver City that are passionate about helping others.

Tanya: I heard about it while I was volunteering at a school garden from Mary Baldwin.

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

Jeff: About the same time last year that I joined Food Forward, I embarked on a mission to have a hamburger in every state. So far I have visited 21 of 50. Besides eating a lot of hamburgers, it has given me the opportunity to see more of the United States, as well as visit friends that have moved away from California. I am also working on a website to teach people what to do with leftover parts of foods that they would usually throw away like banana peels, apple cores, or artichoke stems.

Tanya: I am currently an active Los Angeles County Master Gardener. I volunteer at Carthay Elementary School and Culver City High School’s Learning Gardens. As a school garden volunteer I spend my time teaching children where their food comes from, basic gardening skills, nutrition and science. I also teach Beginner Adult Gardening Courses through University California Cooperative Extension. I love gardening and I also have 8 backyard chickens in the city.

What is your favorite memory working with Food Forward?

Jeff: Out of all the great memories created, the one that stands out the most is when a local poet at the Farmers Market wrote us a poem about sustainability. All the volunteers that night gathered around as we did a reading.

Tanya: It is difficult to pin point one favorite memory because there are so many. But I will mention that I am always amazed at how generous the farmers are at the markets and how Food Forward attracts the most incredibly passionate volunteers and staff.

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

Jeff: Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know what new experiences await, what new friends will be made, and what new opportunities will be presented.

Tanya: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. It’s a Winston Churchill quote but it’s always meant a lot to me.

Read More: Posted in Community Action, Farmers Market, Farmers Market Recovery, Food Education, Los Angeles Volunteer, Uncategorized, Volunteer Organization
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We Are Hiring a Volunteer Coordinator!

POSITION: Volunteer Coordinator (Part-time position with the possibility to become full-time in 3 – 6 months)


The Volunteer Coordinator will report to the Volunteer Manager. This position provides an opportunity to become deeply involved with a diverse group of people in the urban food justice community, while working for a prominent and growing nonprofit. The Volunteer Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring Food Forward’s 100 volunteer powered food recovery events each month are fully staffed, while handling volunteer inquiries, logistics, providing support and implementing methods of outreach. Start date of January 5, 2015


The ideal candidate will have an interest in hunger and food justice issues, along with an ability to work, lead and communicate with a large, diverse group of volunteers. We are looking for an extremely detail-oriented person who can handle a substantial amount of correspondence. He / she can work comfortably coordinating the volunteer needs of our 100 (and growing) volunteer events, of varying size, each month across Los Angeles and Ventura counties. This candidate is extremely personable and able to communicate and lead volunteers with various personalities and temperaments. The volunteer program is constantly changing to meet Food Forward’s growth in food recovery efforts so this person needs to be adaptable and creative about methods of volunteer outreach. The Volunteer Coordinator is the face of Food Forward at community events therefore being well-versed and well-spoken to attract new volunteers is key. A collaborative spirit, a willingness to attend regular outdoor volunteer events (sometimes on weekends) and a knowledge of LA geography are all essential!


  • Coordinating volunteers for 100 Backyard Harvest and Farmers Market Recovery Events each month

  • Acting as the main point of contact and support for volunteers

  • Maintaining, updating and tracking a database of 7000+ volunteers

  • Listing and managing upcoming volunteer events on VolunteerMatch, LA Works and community and university boards

  • Managing online volunteer registration

  • Collecting and maintaining accurate volunteer metrics

  • Researching groups and community events for volunteer outreach

  • Representing Food Forward at community and speaking events

  • Cultivating and fostering long lasting relationships with volunteers

  • Frequent written communication in emails, postings and documents


  • Bachelors Degrees (preferably in a related field)

  • Strong people skills and public speaking experience

  • Strong writing skills

  • Experience in working with volunteers

  • Experience in managing large numbers of people

  • A passion for food justice and community building

  • Skilled in networking and growing partnerships

  • Ability to communicate with various populations

  • A flexible team player who is able to work well under pressure and time constraints

  • Knowledge of Southern California Geography

  • Savvy in WordPress, social media, Vertical Response, Excel and Google Docs

  • PR experience a plus!

  • A valid drivers license

  • Willingness to work on weekends or after hours

  • Able to lift 40-60lbs

Hourly Wage: $15.00


Send a cover letter in the body of the email and attach your resume in a PDF version to The subject line should read, Volunteer Coordinator – (Your Name). No phone calls please. Please follow these instructions to ensure that we process your application. Submissions are due by Monday, December 8, 2014.

Read More: Posted in Uncategorized
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Even in a Notorious Drought, There is a Grey Lining

Why Greywater is Actually Green and Many Other Reasons Why We “Love That Dirty Water”

Greywater.  Or Gray Water.  In case you haven’t heard (you’re not alone), greywater is water you just used from your bathroom sink, shower, tub, or washing machine.  Looking past the ubiquitous connotation that this liquid is “dirty”, greywater touts highly beneficial, economical irrigation for basic landscape needs.

Greywater may, and probably does, contain traces of dirt, hair, grease, or general household cleaning products. It is NOT water that comes from your toilet or has ever come into contact with feces or washing diapers.   Also, water from the dishwasher should be avoided, as many common detergents are laden with sodium, which is harmful to many ecological systems.

You may not realize it, but we all use A LOT of water.  In 2013, the average California household used 360 gallons of water a day, with a whopping 170 gallons coming from indoor use.  While the majority of this water comes from toilet flushes (you can use greywater to pour into your tank and save a flush), approximately 107 gallons are coming from greywater sources; providing an opportunity for savings and promoting water justice.


The key to greywater use is knowing where and how to use it.   Fruit trees, bushes, berry patches, shrubs, and large annuals love greywater as long as non-toxic, biodegradable products are used.  Deep waterings from a laundry line promote strong root growth.  For health reasons, we do not recommend allowing greywater to come into contact with the fruit/produce itself, so root or leafy vegetables or any subterranean food would be discouraged. However, watering fruit trees with greywater is a perfect fit!

So how much would a system set you back?  The cost of greywater systems varies on how simple or complex the plumbing is, how large your yard is, and who is doing the installation. On the simple systems, much of the work is digging: digging mulch basins, and digging trenches to bury pipe. For tight budgets, labor costs can be greatly reduced if you are willing to do the digging yourself, or find some eager friends or family who want to support greywater installations (and learn in the process!).

These are some rough average costs:

Laundry to Landscape- Materials only $100-$250, Full installation $700-$2,000

Branched drain- Materials only $200-$400 Full installation $800-$3,000

Pumped system-Materials only $400-$600 Full installation $1,000-$3,000

So before you head off and start washing your dishes in the shower or hacking into your laundry line, do a little research and soul searching to see if greywater is right for you.

Article by Matthew Lorton, Food Forward Volunteer and avid food and beverage writer.

For more information regarding greywater check out:

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Veggie of the Month: Spaghetti Squash

It’s Time to Start Thinking About Spaghetti Squash

The name Spaghetti Squash, or as we prefer to call it “Squaghetti”, derives its name from the uniquely textured flesh. Spaghetti squash is a yellow, mildly flavored winter squash, with a fun oblong shape. After cooking and running a folk through it, its flesh separates into a bevy of spaghetti-like strands. It is the ideal substitute for pasta, offering a low-carb, vitamin rich alternative to bleached noodles or high-gluten flour.  Squash in general is very healthy for you; chock full of vitamin A, potassium, and heart-healthy omega 3’s, winter squash should be a welcomed guest at your dining table this season.

Feeling Ambitious?  Try Growing Your Own!

Starting from Seed

Spaghetti squash need a long growing season (~100 days), and warm sunny days and that includes warmth at planting time. We recommend waiting at least a week after the last frost occurs.

Growing Instructions

Keep your plants watered, and weed-free while the leaves are developing. Once the wide leaves are fully developed, they will start to shade their surrounding soil and keep the weeds out.

After the peak of the summer, you should remove any new blossoms (check out our favorite recipe here, courtesy of dolly and oatmeal) that your squash vines produce. There won’t be enough time left for them to mature and the plant’s resources would be better used growing the already-developing squash on the vine.

Due to the long growing time for squash, they can be prone to rot or decay as they rest on the ground.  This is easily remedied with a small lid or plate to rest the squash on.


Spaghetti squash are quite large, each individual squash can grow to be around 4 pounds at peak. Each plant will produce between 4-6 squash…unfortunately they can’t be harvested small/early like zucchini or summer squash. They don’t develop that way. Spaghetti squash (all winter squash actually) need to fully mature before harvesting.

A tried and true method to tell if your squash is ready is to push your fingernail into the outside skin. The skin should be tough enough to withstand your nail. If it punctures, your squash need more time. Depending on your climate, another sign is that you should harvest your squash when the vines start to wither.

Health Benefits

  • Other than the above nutrients of spaghetti squash, it also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart diseases, inflammation occasioned by arthritis and different types of cancers, omega-6 fatty acids are ideal for promoting proper brain function. Omega – 6 has a variety of minerals and vitamins, which are essential for proper functioning of your body.
  • Some of the recent conducted health studies have proven that spaghetti squash helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer
  • Spaghetti squash is rich in beta carotene, which is essential in preventing atherosclerosis. It also has numerous health benefits especially for people with insulin deficiency.
  • The fact that spaghetti squash has a lot of potassium makes it the ideal diet for people with blood pressure. It can amazingly lower high blood pressure if consumed over time. The folate contained in the spaghetti squash helps in strengthening the walls of blood vessels besides enhancing blood circulation.
  • Pregnant women are encouraged to consume spaghetti squash more frequently since the folate contained in it helps in preventing birth defects which can occur when a woman is delivering the baby.

Article written by Matthew Lorton, Food Forward Volunteer and Avid Food & Beverage Writer

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