Food Forward Volunteers at A Place Called Home!
Our Food Forward staff loves an opportunity to get out of the office, especially when it means we get a chance to hang out with fun and creative kids! On Thursday, October 20, Food Forward had its first staff volunteer day with one of our long-standing, truly amazing receiving agencies, A Place Called Home (APCH). We wanted to find a way to better understand our partner organizations and to connect with the people receiving the produce we glean in a different way. When we approached APCH about volunteering with them, they were more than happy about the idea.
Our visit started with a tour of APCH’s headquarters on South Central Avenue, just south of Downtown LA and one of the toughest neighborhoods to grow up in. After the riots in 1992, APCH started in a church basement with 12 students. It was a place for youth to go to after school where they could work on their homework, hang out, and be around caring adults. By 1996, they had 400 student members and moved to their current location. This facility includes an athletic field, full kitchen, art classes, a music recording studio, and multimedia classes. Every year they are able to give out 75 college scholarships. The produce donated to APCH through both Food Forward’s Farmers Markets Recovery Program and Backyard Harvest Program is used for healthy meals and snacks prepared in their kitchen.
After our tour, we helped some of the students paint pumpkins so they can decorate their facility for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos and then we went out to the athletic field to help lead the volleyball, basketball, and “doccerball” games. Doccerball was invented at APCH and is a mix of soccer and dodgeball. You have to see it to believe it!
We were so impressed with the creativity and range of classes provided at APCH for all students between 8 and 21. We are so happy to be working with such a unique organization that inspires us to continue doing the work we do to bring fresh produce to these neighborhoods. And, as you can see from the photos below, they may have also inspired us to bring out our inner kids.