Annual Report 2021

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Food Forward
Annual Report
2021

On an average day, Food Forward supplies
over 150,000 people their USDA-recommended
5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

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THIS IS OUR IMPACT

By breaking down barriers that limit access to fresh and healthy food, Food Forward promotes wellness, education, and nutritious produce to help shorten the Health Equity gap.

Nearly 35 percent of the food supply in the United States — more than 133 billion pounds — goes to waste. Food Forward’s produce recovery model reduces food waste to deliver long-term Environmental Benefits.

In 2021, Food Forward distributed 67 million pounds of fresh produce in 12 California counties, as well as six adjacent states and tribal lands, resulting in vast Economic Impact to the hundreds of food insecure communities we serve.     

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CEO MESSAGE

One of the only things that is constant on this magnificent and fragile planet of ours is change, and 2021 more than any year has borne that out. We are all in a state of constant change, which the optimist in me feels is, or at least can become, an evolution.

Food Forward has been in its own constant state of change since it sprouted nearly 13 years ago – but these recent two years have been different. It’s grown into what feels like a new organization: in size and scale, Board and volunteer involvement, culture, and most importantly, impact.

2020 was the year Food Forward stared down a historic national food emergency, meeting the moment to empower millions of people experiencing food insecurity in Southern California communities, across six adjacent states and tribal lands reaching all the way to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. 2021 was the year we began growing into our new skin.

During this period, we saw some of our key staff move on to new adventures, but we also gained a number of exceedingly talented teammates who are busy building out a new Food Forward as one of the nation’s most impactful and innovative nonprofits tackling food insecurity and the flip side of the environmental ramifications of food waste.

This is happening at a rate that still is jaw-dropping: an average of 250,000 pounds per work day – or, seen another way – enough produce to supply over 150,000 individuals their USDA-recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

In 2021, we came to better understand our work as a significant booster to health equity in historically marginalized communities, our positive role in curbing the effects of climate change, and our economic impact on the economy.

Pulling together to accomplish all this work comes deep gratitude for the chance to embrace our “new normal” – and make the most of the challenges foisted upon us all. Gratitude not just for the staff who has pivoted, dug deeper and in doing so discovered greater resilience and innovation, and a board and advisors who clocked more hours than in any year past, but to our partners who continued to help us get our produce the last mile, the volunteers who stepped up in new ways, the produce donors, farmers, and homeowners who make this work possible, and the many funders – those who’ve walked beside us for years and those who found us during the darkest days of COVID-19, then re-upped with us for another year.

I hope we can each reflect on the good we will take from this beyond challenging time – see the opportunities ahead in 2022, and most importantly, support each other as we renew our commitment to SHARE THE ABUNDANCE.

Rick Nahmias
Founder & CEO

BY THE NUMBERS

67 Million
Pounds of Produce Recovered and Donated

6

Neighboring States
and Tribal Lands Served

10

Vehicles in Service

12

California Counties Served

24

New Glean Team Leads Activated

344

Agencies Served

1,216

Food Donors

1,813

Volunteer-powered Events

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67 Million
Pounds of Produce Recovered and Donated

6

Neighboring States
and Tribal Lands Served

10

Vehicles in Service

12

California Counties Served

24

New Glean Team Leads
Activated

344

Agencies Served

1,216

Food Donors

1,813

Volunteer-powered Events

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

Food Forward checks all the boxes: feeding hungry people with healthy food, reducing food waste, and organizing mobs of volunteers. Food Forward elevates LA, making this a better place to live.

Chris Fager, Food Forward Donor

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The partnership between Food Forward and Inland Empire health entities has proven an innovative effort to improve the health of rural populations living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Food Forward has assisted in optimizing healthcare access with healthy produce, while spurring additional partnerships to improve food systems and advance the health and well-being of communities.

Inland Empire Health Plan, Agency Partner

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Food forward checks all the boxes: feeding hungry people with healthy food, reducing food waste, and organizing mobs of volunteers. Food Forward elevates LA, making this a better place to live.

Chris Fager, Food Forward Donor

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The partnership between Food Forward and Inland Empire health entities has proven an innovative effort to improve the health of rural populations living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Food Forward has assisted in optimizing healthcare access with healthy produce, while spurring additional partnerships to improve food systems and advance the health and well-being of communities.

Inland Empire Health Plan, Agency Partner

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FINANCIALS

Food Forward operates with high efficiency. With cash expenses of $4 million in 2021, we distributed produce valued at $120,032,773 million  – an incredible 30 times return on social investment!

The following charts illustrate the sources of Food Forward’s funding and expenses in 2021 by category including in-kind (produce and services value) and cash donations. Food Forward is grateful to the thousands of people who supported our work in 2021.

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This chart includes the in-kind value of the produce donated to Food Forward for distribution. In 2021, Food Forward received a significant cash gift from an individual, represented as accrued here, intended to support work in future years.

In 2020, Food Forward’s supporters enabled our programmatic work to greatly increase its impact. In 2021, expenses represented here include investments in organizational capacity to strengthen the infrastructure that will maintain this expanded level of service.

Food Forward operates with high efficiency. With cash expenses of $4 million in 2021, we distributed produce valued at $120,032,773 million  – an incredible 30 times return on social investment!

The following charts illustrate the sources of Food Forward’s funding and expenses in 2021 by category including in-kind (produce and services value) and cash donations. Food Forward is grateful to the thousands of people who supported our work in 2021.

income pie desktop

This chart includes the in-kind value of the produce donated to Food Forward for distribution. In 2021, Food Forward received a significant cash gift from an individual, represented as accrued here, intended to support work in future years

expenses pie desktop

In 2020, Food Forward’s supporters enabled our programmatic work to greatly increase its impact. In 2021, expenses represented here include investments in organizational capacity to strengthen the infrastructure that will maintain this expanded level of service.

DONORS

We are grateful to everyone who supported Food Forward in 2021. Because of their generous financial contributions, we are able to connect fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables with millions of people experiencing food insecurity. The following recognizes those supporters who gave $500 or more in 2021. On behalf of all of us and the people we serve, thank you.

Individual Donors

Corporate and Foundation Donors

We are grateful to everyone who supported Food Forward in 2021. Because of their generous financial contributions, we are able to connect fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables with millions of people experiencing food insecurity. The following recognizes those supporters who gave $500 or more in 2021. On behalf of all of us and the people we serve, thank you

Individual Donors

Corporate and Foundation Donors

MEET THE TEAM

Staff

Board of Directors

Staff

Board of Directors

HOW YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT

Equal access to fruits and vegetables is not only critical to community health, but it has a long-term economic impact and environmental consequences. Every volunteer hour and dollar donated is an investment in food justice and sustainability.

Volunteer here

Inspire Others here

Donate here

To make a financial contribution, please visit foodforward.org/give

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Equal access to fruits and vegetables is not only critical to community health, but it has a long-term economic impact and environmental consequences. Every volunteer hour and dollar donated is an investment in food justice and sustainability.

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Volunteer here

Inspire Others here

Donate here

To make a financial contribution, please visit foodforward.org/give

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