Gleaning in the SGV

Volunteer at Farmers Market

We’d like to introduce you to our Volunteer of the Month for July – Justin! Justin started volunteering with us at the beginning of this year, but has already volunteered at an astonishing 29 gleans. He started volunteering at the Alhambra Farmers Market and decided that his talents could also be used at the Pasadena Farmers Market. He started leading in April and has been more than willing to go above and beyond what is expected of him as a Glean Team Leader. He has been very flexible, filling in last minute at the markets where we needed him, and often dedicates his weekends to support our organization, doing double duty at multiple weekend markets.

So tell me, how did you get started with Food Forward?   

I was looking on LA Works for volunteering opportunities that I could participate in when I found Food Forward, I read about Food Forward on the Food Forward website and participated in the Alhambra and Pasadena farmer’s market gleans. The efforts and passion of the other volunteers inspired me to continue volunteering with Food Forward and eventually becoming a Glean Team Leader. 

What drew you to Food Forward’s work and mission?

Having lived around the world and seeing the living conditions of the underprivileged, I truly believe in the fight against hunger and getting myself involved in the process of eliminating waste. Seeing the hard work that the Farmers at the markets put into cultivating their produce, it would be irresponsible for me as a member of this community to not make sure that the hard work of the farmers don’t go to waste.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering with Food Forward? 

I am currently a full-time student attending Community College, I am working towards transferring to UC Berkeley. In the little spare time I have, I like to skateboard, make spray paint art, and listen to Soul music.

What is your favorite part about volunteering with Food Forward? 

My favorite part about volunteering with Food Forward is the process of weighing the gleaned produce, it is oddly rewarding to see the collective efforts of the volunteers expressed in the poundage of fresh produce we are able to save from waste. 

Any words of wisdom you live by? 

“Stay away from “They” –DJ Khaled