A family activity & a way to contribute

Tom has been volunteering with his 3 adorable kids and lovely wife since February 2018. We met him at an avocado harvest in Somis, and he’s been volunteering regularly ever since! Tom and his family have stepped up in this critical time and have continued to regularly harvest fruit from backyard fruit trees and orchards on their own. Thank you to Tom and his family for all that you do!


Tom at a lemon harvest in Ventura County


So tell me, what drew you to Food Forward’s work and mission?
At first it was a family activity that we found that we can all do together. My wife, Chrissy, first found out about Food Forward and signed us all up for a bacon avocado pick in Somis in the spring of 2018. It was more enjoyable than I expected. I quickly became a pick leader and haven’t looked back since.


What do you do when you’re not volunteering with Food Forward?
I work for the Navy at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu. I also went back to school to learn how to fly.


What is your favorite part about volunteering with Food Forward? 
Meeting new people and being able contribute to my community.


During the COVID-19 outbreak, Tom has continued to do solo and family harvests of local fruit trees. 


How would you describe the volunteer experience at a backyard harvest?
It’s a good time. I encourage the volunteers to meet and talk to new people while picking.


What have you learned from volunteering?
I have learned that it is easy to contribute to my community.


Is there a particularly powerful volunteering moment you’d like to share? 
There are a few that come to mind. We went to pick enormous navel oranges near scenic mountains in Fillmore, but the harvest we’ve done twice was picking grapefruit at a horse ranch in Somis. The first time was late in the afternoon and it was over 100 degrees. My family all participated and over 100 boxes of fruit were harvested. When this property came back up to pick we had to do it again, thankfully it wasn’t nearly as hot the second time. I’ll do that pick every year.


Tom’s kids often help him harvest.
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1 thought on “A family activity & a way to contribute”

  1. Monika Monhoff says:

    So awesome of you and your family doing this. I hate to see so much wonderful fruit go to waste. You are teaching your kids to be caring, self sufficient all the while forming wonderful memories that will last their lifetimes. Bravo!

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