As anyone who spends even a little time in Southern California knows, fruit trees are everywhere! We have our deep agricultural history to thank for that: long before highways criss-crossed across the region, commercial orchards covered the land.
One fruit tree can yield hundreds of pounds of fruit, which is generally far too much for one family to consume. That’s where Food Forward’s flagship program, Backyard Harvest, comes in. Volunteers pick fruit from trees on private properties and public spaces, and 100% of what is collected is donated to local hunger relief agencies.
The program operates across portions of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties and engages thousands of volunteers per year. Property owners receive a tax-deductible receipt for their donations and have the added benefit of ensuring that their uneaten fruit is being donated to those in need in the community. Together, volunteers and fruit donors share the experience of picking locally grown fruit, that would otherwise go to waste, and distributing this excess to benefit the food insecure in our communities.
Any 501(c)(3) interested in receiving produce from our Backyard Harvest Program should be able to pick up fruit on a flexible schedule from various locations. Please note that we are unable to provide produce to agencies that receive money for distributing food. If you’d like more information about becoming a Food Forward Receiving Agency, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.