What types of produce do you accept?
We accept nearly all fruits and vegetables, and yes, even lemons! The number one rule of thumb is that the produce needs to be edible. Think of it this way: if you would not eat the fruit or vegetable because it is too sour, rotten, unripe or in otherwise bad shape, then we cannot donate it. At this time, many of the agencies we work with do not accept loquats so, unfortunately, that is one variety we generally do not harvest.
How quickly will you come to pick the fruit?
Food Forward is a volunteer-powered organization, which means the majority of our fruit picks are led by volunteers. We do our best to get volunteers out as soon as possible, but during the busy spring harvesting season and in areas we may not have many volunteers, it can take up to 3 months to schedule a harvest. Luckily, most citrus will last many months on the tree once it is ready to be harvested! To ensure your fruit gets picked while it is ripe, please give us plenty of lead time to coordinate a fruit pick. If your fruit needs to be picked before we can get to your property, consider picking it yourself! We can connect you with a hunger relief agency nearby and, if necessary, provide any tools you need.
Do you have to pick ALL of my fruit?
Nope! If you would like us to keep some of the low hanging fruit on the tree for you to eat, just let us know when we are scheduling the fruit pick.
I only have one tree. Is that enough for you to pick?
In most cases, absolutely! One fruit tree can yield up to 800 pounds! Our only requirement is that, in order to send volunteers to pick your fruit, you have more than 100 pieces of fruit on your tree that we can collect and donate. If you have less than 100 pieces, you can pick it yourself to donate!
My tree is 30’ tall, can you get all of the fruit?
Our volunteers will get as much fruit as they can safely pick. If your tree is above 10 – 15’ tall, it is unlikely we will be able to get the fruit at the top. Additionally, if your tree has a lot of dead wood or if there are electrical lines around the tree, we may not be able to reach some of the fruit. We will do our best to get as much as we can and we always recommend pruning regularly for the health of your trees.
What regions do your harvests taken place in?
We currently harvest fruit trees across Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and occasionally in San Bernardino and Riverside County.
Are you interested in my extra garden produce?
Depending on how much extra produce you have, we may be able to harvest your garden. If you have a few spare fruits or veggies that you cannot eat, we can connect you with a local hunger relief agency so your homegrown bounty does not go to waste. Learn about picking and donating your own garden veggies here.
Are you insured?
Yes, we are fully insured. Each fruit pick is led by a trained Pick Leader who makes sure each event goes off without a hitch!
What do I get for my donation?
You receive a tax-deductible receipt the week following your harvest for your in-kind donation that details how many pounds you donated.