Happy Harvesting Holidays Fruit Family!

We welcome the holiday season not just for gifts and quality time spent with our loved ones, but more so because it means Citrus Season is JUST around the corner! You know you see bundles of orange orbs brightening on the trees across Fruitland and believe us – we see them too and we’re ready!

Speaking of gifts, we want to remind all of you in Fruitland that Food Forward is in the middle of its Year End GO OUT ON A LIMB Campaign.  This is the ONE TIME OF YEAR we ask YOU, our volunteers, homeowners and other supporters, to make a personal contribution to Food Forward to help us continue to sustain the important work we do, helping to supply over 50 agencies in So CAL with fresh and free nutritious produce. Please take a look at the summary of this year’s amazing work, and then please consider making as generous a financial donation as you can. (Now, while you click over to PayPal for a moment, we’ll wait for you here.)

Are you back?  Great, thanks! (Should you want to save us those pesky fees, you can drop us a check – or a stop by with a cool wad of green cash at the Fruit Cave: 7412 Fulton Ave. #3 North Hollywood, CA 91605). Contributions can also be made in the name of someone special and FF will send them a card acknowledging your generosity in their name. Just know that however you choose to open your wallet, your 100% tax-deductible contribution is worth DOUBLE, as all contributions up to $10,000 are being generously matched by the amazing Plum Foundation (for the third year in a row) THRU DEC 31stONLY!

The graphic above summarizes some of the great advances Food Forward made in 2012, but should you want greater detail about our successes and goals check out the interview on A Sustainable Kitchen’s blog with our Founder/Executive Director, Rick Nahmias. He spills all the juice of where we have been, and what we are looking forward to in 2013.

Though our year-end fundraiser is critical for our work in the coming year, FF’s main currency is and always will be fresh and local FRUIT! This month we kick off Mandarin Madness in Goleta, where we will be progressively harvesting an amazing grove of sweet succulent Mandarin oranges throughout the winter. Now an annual happening, this year in Goleta, we are looking to harvest a total bounty of between 30,000-40,000 lbs. All we need are warm bodies out there clip clip clipping away! These days of Mandarin Madness (there are over a half dozen of them starting Dec 1st!) make great FAMILY OR GROUP OUTINGS, with kids over 5 years old. The property is a beautiful 90-minute drive north to Santa Barbara and located on the coast. We always describe Mandarin Madness like taking ornaments off a Christmas tree – easy, rewarding and BOUNTIFUL. So, please make sure to attend one of these Goleta events.

By the way, Mandarins are Food Forward’s Fruit of the Month- check out our blog piece to learn more about the varieties and history of this lovely little fruit.

A SPECIAL PROJECT for our design savvy volunteers. We’re looking for someone to design Food Forward flair (a button)! We’re calling on volunteers to design a button to promote our organization’s brand and mission. Our volunteers and supporters will wear the buttons for outreach purposes- and who doesn’t love some good flair?! The winner of the design competition will receive one of our swanky Food Forward hoodies. If you’d like to submit a design, please email Max [at] foodforward [dot] org for the competition details!

As we look forward to Hanukah, Christmas and the New Year, FF reminds you that we have our limited edition holiday gift crates on sale with 100% of all proceeds going to sustain our programs to harvest food, fight hunger and build community. This year’s completely new line up of gift crate goodies includes a unique assortment of house-made gourmet foods and fine branded apparel, beautifully wrapped, making them a great holiday gift for your office, corporate clients, food enthusiasts friends and do-gooders. They are $125 (including tax) and for $25 we will ship them (UPS ground anywhere in the US) or deliver them via the Fruitmobile anywhere in the LA area.  Eat Well & Do Good!

Now, onto the pulp that is December…

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