In January 2009, a group of volunteers mobilized to rescue surplus citrus from going to waste in a suburban Los Angeles backyard to donate to a local pantry. Nearly 15 years later, Food Forward is now the largest independent urban-based produce reclamation and gleaning organization in the nation devoted exclusively to bringing healthy fresh produce to communities experiencing food and nutrition insecurity.

2024

  • Food Forward turns 15 years old

2023

  • A record 87 million pounds is recovered in one year!
  • Food Forward is announced as the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) gleaning partner for their annual global produce and floral show
  • Studio City Farmers Market’s largest monthly recovery—6,661 pounds in July
  • 9 million pounds of surplus produce recovered and donated in one month!
  • Food Forward purchases its first ever all-electric van

2022

  • Telemundo 2022 Project Innovation winner
  • Food Forward attends the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
  • Food Forward recovers and donates 250 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, equivalent to ONE BILLION SERVINGS, that would have otherwise gone to waste
  • Food Forward partners with Brighter Bites to become their primary produce supplier for Los Angeles schools
  • EPA Food Recovery Challenge Innovation recipient (the only organization to win six years in row)
  • Recovered 226 types of wholesale produce, 50 varieties of backyard produce, and produce from over 180 farmers market vendors.
  • Commissioned a 60-foot-long mural titled Share The Abundance™ by renowned artist Brian Peterson on a new 1,750 square-foot cooler at the Produce Pit Stop.

2021

  • Classy Award: Social Innovation Winner
  • Anthem Award Winner (Categories: Humanitarian Action & Services and Sustainability, Environment, & Climate)
  • Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program Champion

2020

  • Food Forward launches an emergency expansion initiative in response to COVID-19 and food insecurity rates rising, to distribute an average of 1 million pounds of produce each week for the final six months of the year
  • The Produce Pit Stop opens The Sprout, an additional loading dock to streamline distributions of fresh produce to mid-size and smaller hunger relief agencies

2019

  • Food Forward becomes the first nonprofit to win its 4th EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award in the ‘Innovation’ category
  • The Produce Pit Stop refrigerated warehouse opens to serve as the hub for daily produce donations from the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in Los Angeles, its surrounding district, and from growers and shippers across the region and the country
  • Food Forward turns 10!

2018

  • Food Forward recovers and donates 50 million pounds
  • 208 hunger relief partners are served

2017

  • Over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables rescued
  • Food Forward partners with the Watts labor community action committee to launch its produce pick-up program to serve the South Los Angeles community
  • Food Forward joins the 1% for the Planet community

2016

  • 9,000 volunteer shifts are filled at backyard fruit picks and farmers market recovery events in 2016
  • Recovered 14.7 million pounds of produce, enough for over 16 million people to receive their 5 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables for one day.

2015

  • Food Forward wins its first U.S. EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award
  • Food Forward’s partners with Smog City Brewing Co. to release the Kumquat Saison—a tart beer that benefits Food Forward’s food recovery work, and is created with kumquats harvested by our volunteers

2014

  • The Farmers Market Recovery program expands to thirteen markets in Los Angeles and Ventura counties
  • Food Forward purchases its first 24-foot’ truck, fully financed through a crowdsourcing campaign
  • Food Forward’s Wholesale Recovery Program launches to recover over 3 million pounds of fruits and vegetables in 8 months

2013

  • Food Forward hosts its largest volunteer event to date with 400 volunteers harvest 20,000 pounds of oranges at the historic California State University Northridge Orange Grove

2012

  • The Farmers Market Recovery Program launches at the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market
  • One million pounds of produce rescued and donated

2011

  • Food Forward, Inc. is officially granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status
  • Food Forward opens its Ventura County location
  • Food Forward hosts its first grilled cheese gala, which later becomes known as the Spring Melt

2010

  • Food Forward purchases its first vehicle with the help of a grant from the Plum Foundation.
  • Food Forward Donates 1 million servings of fruits and vegetables

2009

  • Food Forward expands to serve 5 hunger relief agencies
  • On January 17, founder Rick Nahmias mobilized a group of volunteers to participate in the first ever Food Forward harvest from a single backyard to donate 800+ pounds of oranges and tangerines to a local food pantry.