Each of our Fruit Picks is lead by a Pick Leader. This highly rewarding leadership position ensures that each fruit pick is fun and organized. The only way we can pick more fruit and host more fruit picks, is to recruit more pick leaders The short training is simple and fun, and the satisfaction of being a pick leader is immense! Sign up for our next Pick Leader Academy on our events page.

  • 4-5 hour per month commitment
  • Lead a minimum of 1 picking event per month
  • Pick Leaders work closely with our Volunteer Coordinator & Harvest Coordinator.

Pick Leader Volunteering with Food Forward

“After a day of volunteering with Food Forward, I feel like I have paid for a day of my keep on this earth in a tangible (not to mention fun and sweaty) way. I have taken something that would otherwise fall to the ground and be wasted and put that into grateful hands and mouths.”-  Tran, Pick Leader


The easiest way to become involved with Food Forward is to sign up to volunteer on a fruit pick! Each fruit pick is approximately 2 hours, with all the picking equipment provided by Food Forward. You’re required to bring your picking hands and a fruitful spirit! Sign-up for an event on our events page (dates, times, and locations specified).

Volunteering with Food Forward
“I really didnt expect fruit picking to be so fun, but It was! Its hard not to feel the stress of the day melt away as you laugh about getting bopped on the head by a small citrus fruit, or feeling satisfied climbing high into a tree to pick the freshest grapefruit for someone in need!”–  Cob, General Volunteer


Food Forward volunteers known as Property Scouts, visit each potential site for a fruit pick prior to the picking event. If you like being outside and enjoy engaging neighbors, property scouting is a fantastic way to support Food Forward. The position requires a brief training process and easy access to transportation to visit different potential pick sites.

  • Property scouts are required to scout at least 1 property per month, but shouldn’t feel limited to scout more.
  • Property Scouts work most closely with the Harvest Coordinator.
  • The position requires volunteers to document detailed data of each property visited.


Fight hunger with your group on an ongoing basis. A Harvest Team requires the following commitments:

  • 2-3 adults from your group train to be Pick Leaders and can manage their own harvesting schedule and equipment.  At least 1 adult Pick Leader must be present at each event.  Training takes 3-4 weeks.  Minors are allowed to train too, but cannot be the only Pick Leader at an event
  • A few representatives from your group who will help to find homes with fruit trees who are willing to donate their fruit for your group to harvest.
  • Someone from your group that can either drive to our North Hollywood office/ San Marino hub/ Westchester Hub to pick up equipment (pickers, ladders, and boxes) for your picking events, or who can store equipment and bring it with them to picks.
  • Each event must be arranged with us ahead of time, and all volunteers under 18 who want to participate must have a parent or guardian sign a liability waiver for them online prior to the event.  Contact for more info.


The Glean Team Leader represents Food Forward at the market and leads the glean. They are asked to be available twice a month, taking into account the GTL’s schedule. All GTLs should have a smart phone to take pictures of donation information and farmer spotlights to share on social media. Their responsibilities include:

  • Greet and train new and experienced volunteers and prepare equipment onsite
  • Act as the point person for questions (from market staff, farmers, or receiving agencies)
  • Lead donation weighing and receiving agency distribution (need to be able to lift at least 40lbs.)
  • Record Weight + Distribution Worksheets and send to Food Forward office
  • Fill out “Weekly Market Notes” form each week to collect info for Food Forward office
  • Scheduling is coordinated through FF staff, you do not sign up online.


As our Farmers Market Recovery program continuous to expand, so do our volunteer needs. We are always looking for volunteers to be Farmers Market Recovery (FMR) Gleaners. FMR gleaners help the onsite Glean Team Leader distribute boxes to farmers and collect donated farmers market produce. The donated produce is then given to agencies that distribute it people in need. If you like farmers markets and want to engage with your local farmers, this opportunity is for you! To learn about upcoming farmers market volunteer opportunities email or go to our Events Page and look for Farmers Market Recovery events in your area.



As the Food Forward office continues to grow, so do our program needs. We are always looking for volunteers to help us with day to day office tasks, such as sorting volunteer release forms, preparing our fruit picking vehicles, and supporting our administrative needs, ensuring that all runs smoothly in Fruitland. If you like working in an office setting and you want to volunteer, this opportunity is for you! Please email

to schedule a volunteer day at the FruitQuarters.


Food Forward sells a variety of value added food products such as, marmalades, preserved lemons, syrups, etc. Food Forward hosts food production days at kitchens around Los Angeles, and we need your help. We are often looking for volunteers interested in learning about food preservation and cooking. Join us and volunteer in the kitchen to help produce our Food Forward products. All of the proceeds made from the sale of these products go directly into scaling our mission to help fight hunger through rescuing excess food! If you’re interested in volunteering at a food production day, email

Property Scout Volunteering with Food Forward
“Southern California, and especially the San Fernando Valley, has such a fruit-filled cultural history built around putting food on our family tables. So many of the fruits and vegetables we eat today were developed from seeds and cuttings brought from the “old country” and shared for generations among fellow Angelinos. Picking for Food Forward is like a treasure hunt – each tree shares its rich story, and I’m glad for every opportunity to listen.”–  Lorraine, Property Scout/Pick Leader

Los Angeles County Ventura County
To get involved in Los Angeles County, just shoot our Volunteer Manager an email and they’ll gladly get you started!
To Become Involved as a Pick Leader or Property Scout in Ventura County, just shoot Jim an email and he’ll gladly get you started!