In January 2009, Rick Nahmias was walking through his neighborhood in Valley Glen, California with his dog and stumbled—almost quite literally—upon the concept that became Food Forward. Rick realized the vast amount of wasted fruit in his own neighborhood could become a sustainable source of nutrition for the food insecure. With only two volunteers and a single backyard, over 800 pounds of fruit was produced from the first “pick.” In the last 11 years, Food Forward has rescued over 100 million pounds (400 million servings) of fresh produce.


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Founding Board Members Erica Kopmar and Carl Buratti with Food Forward Founder/Executive Director Rick Nahmias


Food Forward collects surplus fruits and vegetables through three programs: Backyard Harvesting, Farmers Market Recovery, and Wholesale Produce Market Recovery.

All produce is delivered to over 200 hunger relief organizations, some of whom distribute to an additional 1,600 local direct service agencies. This nutritious produce reaches people in need through social service agencies of all kinds, and gleaning work is provided by 7,000+ community volunteers at 195 produce recovery events every month.

Food Forward provides an innovative, cost-effective, scalable, and replicable solution to the increasing need for food donations and the shortage of nutritious options available to our Southern California neighbors in need.


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