A Letter from Moorpark

“30 volunteers in 4 days? Of course I can.” This was my confident response when my father inquired if I could recruit people to help pick fruit for an unfamiliar charity for a pick at the Moorpark Country Club in Ventura County almost one year ago. I was estranged with picking oranges for charity, by even with its foreign elements; I was oddly attracted to this particular event. I was sold on the idea of fresh fruit for the fruitless and the challenge of getting so many people in so little time. Before I knew it, my ambitious networking had helped lead to a successful pick at the Moorpark Country Club. This, in turn, led to something much more fruitful; the Moorpark Food Forward branch. Impressed by the outcome of the event, the Zeus of fruit himself, Rick Nahmias, brought up the idea of starting a branch of Food Forward in Moorpark. He was caught off guard by the immense amount of fruit in the area, and I wasn’t about to let all go to waste either.  Sure enough with the collaborative effort of Rick, Marie Boswell, Martha Penhall, and my father Robert Glatt and I, we breathed life into the tree that we keep on growing.

I grew up loving charity work as my father would run trips to Mexico from when I was in the womb up until mid-high school. I was prepared to take over the duties of my father after falling in love with the culture, until the country became ridden with treachery and drug wars. I was sincerely depressed with the inability I had to continue what I had always loved, and my father knew this. My hunger for charity work was not satisfied until my dad mentioned the two words that were worth thousands; Food Forward.

The way Food Forward worked had me sold from the start. Also, when one comes across a win-win operation, it’s very hard to find a reason to back out. And so the Moorpark Food Forward Branch began to blossom. Martha Penhall took the liberty of finding properties, my father managed charity relations and transport logistics, and I assumed the position of volunteer coordinator. Even with our main positions, we each did (and continue to do) a little bit of everything. Our monthly picks became a traditional success and thousands of pounds of fruit became the result. It would be near impossible without the three of us and the main branch of Food Forward all working together. No matter what conflicts have arisen, we seem to reach the big picture every time: plenty of fresh fruit for those who need it.

Food Forward continues to grow…and fast. Everywhere I look there seems to be something new; a van, new offices, growing leadership, etc. This only excites me and keeps me more planted in Food Forward as we grow. My hope is that I can see more branches pop up and be successful, even if it’s only through one pick. Perhaps the Moorpark branch can be an example and influence branches in every county, city, state, or country. No matter where you are, my saying for Food Forward remains constant: 3,000 pounds of apples a day keeps and entire community of hungry people at bay.

– Ryan Glatt, Volunteer Coordinator for Moorpark Branch

Here is a link to the VC Star Article about Food Forward’s Moorpark Branch: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jun/29/surplus-fruit-turns-into-bounty-for-the-needy/

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