Frequently Asked Questions
So, what exactly does Food Forward do?
Food Forward collects surplus fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted from backyard fruit trees, farms, farmers markets, and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. We donate the produce we recover, 100% free of charge, to hunger relief agencies across eight Southern California counties.
Where are you based?
Our offices are in North Hollywood and the City of Ventura, but we recover produce all over Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and in specific areas of Santa Barbara County. In addition to these regions, Food Forward’s Wholesale Recovery Program also donates to agencies in San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside Counties.
Who gets your recovered produce?
Food Forward donates to non-profit 501(c)(3) charities that serve a diversity of people in need: the homeless, families, children, veterans, elderly, people living with HIV, and many others. Read more about the agencies who receive our produce. Read more about the agencies who receive our produce.
What types of food do you recover?
We recover fresh fruits and vegetables, along with breads and nuts from farmers markets. We do not collect prepared or value-added food, dairy, or meat.
Is there liability involved in what you do?
No. All our gleaning programs are covered by The Good Samaritan Act (aka The Food Donor and Donee Act of 1996). This act protects all food donations to non-profit organizations from liability (unless it’s a case of gross negligence or malicious intent). Read more about the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
I am interested in donating my backyard fruit. What do I do?
First off, thank you! Please visit this page to register your fruit tree(s) and a member of our Backyard Harvest team will be in touch soon.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, we hold full liability coverage. And, all our volunteers sign a release form and are covered under our insurance plan.
How do I get some of the produce you recover?
Food Forward does not currently directly distribute food to individuals. If you are a 501(c)(3) that is interested in receiving produce from one of our programs, please visit this page to learn more. If you are in immediate need of food, you can visit this page to find a food pantry near you.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers help pick fruit from fruit trees in backyards and orchards or collect surplus produce at one of our farmers market locations. You can sign up to volunteer here or check out the Volunteer FAQ on this page.
Does Food Forward work in my ____________ (city, state, country)?
Food Forward currently supplies produce to eight counties in Southern California, and hosts volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. Please visit this page to learn about other organizations that may be in your geographic region!
How do I get information about Food Forward for my school project?
The best way to learn more about Food Forward is to volunteer with us. You can also check out our recent media pieces and blog to learn more. If you need additional information or would like to speak with staff, please write up a Student Research Project Proposal. Your proposal can be brief but should include:
1) A summary of your intended project
2) A list of additional resources you’d like to have from Food Forward
3) A summary of how you envision these resources supporting the rest of your research
4) A description of how your research project will support Food Forward’s mission
Send your Student Research Project Proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to support student projects. But, we have a small staff working hard to achieve a large impact. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to meet your request for additional resources.
Are you hiring?
Please check our Jobs and Internships page for any current openings.
Photo courtesy Aubrie Armstrong