Volunteer with us this Holiday Season!

November 13th, 2017

11.13.17 – Harvesting food to fight hunger feels especially relevant this time of year. As we take time to share food with friends and family this holiday season, we also love to give time to share food with our Southern California family. We have tons of volunteer opportunities coming up this holiday season, and we hope that you join us in the coming months to share a little bit of your holidays with us.

Food Forward's Friendsgiving Lunch

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities with Food Forward!

We just finished the last piece of our Halloween candy, and that means that the rest of the holidays are just around the corner. As an organization devoted to food, we could not be more excited for all of the dinners, pies, and cookies that we will soon get to share with our friends and families.

Because food plays such an important role in making the holidays, well, the holidays, these next two months are also a great time to connect with Food Forward volunteer opportunities. We’d love to have you share a little bit of your holidays with us!

Volunteer this holiday season!

Fighting Hunger this Holiday Season

Here at Food Forward, we like to take extra time during the holidays to think about how our work impacts folks across Southern California. While we’re busy year round working to Harvest Food, Fight Hunger, and Build Community, our mission feels especially important to us as we celebrate (and eat!) food with our own families and friends.

And we’re not alone! Like big meals, school vacation, and visits from relatives, volunteering during the holidays is an important American tradition. According to VolunteerMatch, Americans will volunteer 15-20% more during these next two months than the rest of the year.

Three Food Forward Volunteers at the Larchmont Farmers Market

Our Farmers Market Gleans are a fun way to spend your holidays giving back!

Upcoming Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

Fruits and veggies don’t stop working during the holidays, and neither do we! Our volunteers will still be picking fruit and collecting produce at harvests and Farmers Markets all through the next two months. We love being able to provide fresh and local produce to sit on the table beside the stuffing and gravy.

Here are some of our upcoming volunteer events around Thanksgiving and December holidays:

Saturday, November 25th

Ventura Farmers Market

Sunday, November 26th

Channel Islands Farmers Market

Pacific Palisades Farmers Market

Saturday, December 2nd

Welcome & Orientation for New Volunteers

Sunday, December 3rd

Mandarin Orange Harvest at a Gorgeous Goleta Orchard

Wednesday, December 20th

Prepare Produce for the MudTown Farmers Market in Watts

Saturday, December 23rd

Ventura Farmers Market

Torrance Farmers Market

Calabasas Farmers Market

Burbank Farmers Market

Sunday, December 24th

Hollywood Farmers Market

Channel Islands Farmers Market

Melrose Place Farmers Market

Long Beach Farmers Market

and more!

Volunteer Opportunities for Families

November and December are full to the brim with family events, dinners, and celebrations. They’re also the perfect time to give back as a family and share a really special experience volunteering together. Most of our events are perfect for families and small groups, and parents are welcome to bring children along with them (see our events calendar for information about age restrictions).

One of our stellar volunteer families from the Santa Monica Farmers Market wrote that they “are looking forward to volunteering again during the holiday season as a family. We have a lot to be thankful for, and it seems right to show that during Thanksgiving weekend.”

Family Fruit Pick!

Three generations of Persimmon Pickers

Have family or old friends coming into town? Bring them along too! For more fun family volunteer ideas, check out our blog post from one of our own Board of Advisors Sarah Spitz, who threw her own birthday party at several of our Farmers Market Recovery Gleaning events a while back! If you want to sign up to volunteer as a family, email us at volunteer@foodforward.org.

“We have a lot to be thankful for, and it seems right to show that during Thanksgiving weekend.”

– A Food Forward Volunteer Family

Holiday Meals at Food Banks and Pantries

The holiday season can be the busiest time for our Receiving Agencies, who bring in more food and more clients than any other time of year. All the extra effort is worth it to be able to share a food-filled and festive experience with folks who might not be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at home this year.

Most Food Banks and Pantries offer special holiday grocery distributions and cooked meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Many even give turkeys and other traditional foods.

MEND's Thanksgiving Meal

Volunteers cooking Turkey at MEND Poverty

Check out some of these holiday volunteer opportunities at our partner Receiving Agencies! They inspire us year round, and the work they do around this time of year will make you feel warm inside:

The MEND Christmas Basket Program: Our friends over at MEND Poverty are looking for volunteers to help visit families, sort toys, and deliver food to folks throughout the holidays.

Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Christmas Dinner: Join Temple of Israel on or before Christmas Day to help them serve a mighty Christmas Dinner.

Monday Night Mission: Monday Night Mission meets every weekday night to serve food on Skid Row for homeless adults and families who aren’t able to find shelter elsewhere.

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

We hope that you have wonderful holidays this year filled with family, friends, and food. With the abundance of Southern California’s fruit trees and farms all around us, we have a lot to be thankful for. Most especially, we are thankful for the opportunity to share that abundance with others.

We hope that you share your holidays with us this year. Go to our Volunteer Calendar to see a list of volunteer opportunities or email volunteer@foodforward.org for more information.

Volunteer this holiday season!

Happy giving thanks,

– The Food Forward Team

Lunch at the Fruit Cave!

A view from a Food Forward “Friendsgiving” Lunch in years past



Previous Volunteers of the Month: