Food Forward has plenty of opportunities to sign-up for one day volunteer activities and, if you’re seeking on-going or leadership opportunities, we’ve got you covered there too!

 

Volunteer Event Leaders:

If you’ve been to a fruit pick or a farmers market recovery event, you probably met one of our incredibly dedicated Super Volunteers! These trained Event Leaders coordinate on-site volunteers and ensure that every step of the farmers market glean or backyard harvest runs safely and smoothly. We are always looking for new Event Leaders at fruit harvests and farmers markets.

 

Apply Now!

 

To get started as an Event Leader…

1) Volunteer at 2 backyard harvests or farmers markets.

2) Complete an Event Leader Application Form. This is a fillable PDF form that you can download, save, and send to volunteer@foodforward.org.

3) Attend one of our Event Leader Training Sessions, complete a brief Background Check, and sign the Food Forward Event Leader Agreement.

4) Shadow one of our experienced Event Leaders at a volunteer event, then lead a volunteer event with an experienced Event Leader shadowing you.

5) Begin leading volunteer teams on your own!

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Food Forward Pick Leader

 

To learn more about other volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved, click on the links below.


Event Leaders

POSITION: Glean Team Leader for the Farmers Market Recovery Program

COMMITMENT: 1-2 days per month for least 3 months. Shifts vary in length from 1 ½ hours - 3 hours, depending on the farmers market

POSITION OVERVIEW: Glean Team Leaders (GTLs) are volunteer Food Forward representatives who lead their chosen market's Farmers Market Recovery team. Under the direction of the GTL, the recovery team distributes Food Forward boxes to interested vendors, collects the donations at the end of the market, and records the total donations, in pounds (a smartphone is required to either record weights on our digital weight sheets of send photos of the physical weight sheets to Food Forward staff). The GTL represents Food Forward at the market community and acts as the point person for volunteers, market staff, vendors, and/or receiving agencies. Additional responsibilities include training new volunteers, caring for and organizing market glean equipment, familiarizing yourself with the agencies receiving the produce and making sure they are getting their designated donations, and recapping the glean by filling out Weekly Market Notes, a Google Form we email each week after the glean to collect information on equipment needs and volunteers. You may need to lift boxes weighing 40 pounds. Note, for some of the markets we glean, the equipment is stored off-site and you will need access to a vehicle in order to pick it up.

What you will learn:
• Leadership skills for directing a diverse array of volunteers
• Verbal and written communication skills
• Knowledge of Southern California produce vendors
• First hand experience with food security work in Southern California
• Seasonality of locally grown produce
• Organizational and decision-making skills in fast-paced situations

Training:
• 2 in-field training sessions: GTLs in training are required to shadow a current GTL at their chosen market, and are then shadowed by a trained GTL
• Read the Glean Team Leader Handbook
• All GTLs are required to attend one training session per year with FMR staff

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in hunger and food justice issues, in addition to a dedication to serving in the community. This volunteer should be detail oriented, personable, and feel comfortable in a leadership position. He/she should enjoy working with diverse groups of people and sharing Food Forward’s work to inspire continued volunteerism.




POSITION: Pick Leader for the Backyard Harvest Program
COMMITMENT: 4-5 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months (in the field)

POSITION OVERVIEW: Pick Leaders are volunteers who are Food Forward ambassadors out in the field. Every fruit harvest is led by a Pick Leader. Harvests may be done solo (Solo Picker) or with volunteers (Community Picker). This highly rewarding leadership position ensures that each harvest is fun, safe, and organized. Pick Leaders choose to lead a harvest from a list of pre-vetted properties in neighborhoods all throughout Los Angeles. Logistics are coordinated by Food Forward staff and Pick Leaders execute and oversee each pick. All the fruit that is harvested is either dropped off to a nearby receiving agency or picked up by an agency’s driver. By leading just one pick a month, you rescue an average of 400 pounds of otherwise wasted produce and provide an average of 800 servings of fresh fruit to those who need it most.

What you will learn:
• Leadership skills for directing a diverse array of volunteers
• Verbal and written communication skills
• Knowledge of Southern California fruit trees
• First hand experience with food security work in Southern California
• Seasonality of locally grown produce
• Organizational and decision-making skills in fast-paced situations

Training:
• Attend two picks as a general volunteer
• Participating in a Pick Leadering training with Food Forward's Backyard Harvest staff
• 2 in-field training sessions: Pick Leaders in training are required to shadow a current Pick Leader at a harvest, and are then shadowed by a trained Pick Leader

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in hunger and food justice issues, in addition to a dedication to serving in the community. This volunteer should be detail oriented, personable, and feel comfortable in a leadership position. He/she should enjoy working with diverse groups of people and sharing Food Forward’s work to inspire continued volunteerism. Candidate should have access to a vehicle or interest in driving one of Food Forward’s vehicles (commercial van, stakebed truck).




POSITION: Community Ambassador
HOURS: 5 - 10 hours a month; hours can be completed at home, in the field or out of our North Hollywood office

Position Overview: A Community Ambassador is the grassroots outreach volunteer that links Food Forward and its mission to their local neighborhood. Community Ambassadors act as the Food Forward face and voice to local government, educational, religious, public, and private groups and institutions through presentations, networking, electronic communication, or tabling at events.  This opportunity is perfect for the social activist who wants to manage their own schedule independently and feels comfortable with public speaking, research, and securing community involvement with Food Forward's programs.

Duties:
• Increase the presence of Food Forward and its programs through localized outreach methods
• Research potential volunteer and program leads
• Communicate with local groups, individuals and organizations about Food Forward’s work
• Represent Food Forward at community events by tabling
• Prepare and execute presentations
• Record outreach progress and potential leads on a spreadsheet
• Work with the Volunteer Manager to schedule events and brainstorm new methods of outreach
• Distribute flyers to homeowners and local businesses

Training:
• Attend a fruit pick and farmers market recovery event as a general volunteer
• One training session with Food Forward staff at our office in North Hollywood
• Shadow a current Community Ambassador twice before representing Food Forward on your own at outreach events

Focus Communities:
• Westchester
• Calabasas
• Pacific Palisades
• Mar Vista
• SGV
• Inland Valley
• Granada Hills
• Ventura County (Simi Valley, Ojai, Ventura, Thousand Oaks)
• Santa Barbara County (Goleta and Montecito)
• West LA
• Long Beach
• or anywhere you are!




Office Volunteers

HOURS: 8 - 10 hours per week: Twice a week at our North Hollywood office.

TIME COMMITMENT: 3 months

COMPENSATION: Unpaid volunteer position.

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

Food Forward's mission is to rescue local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.

HARVEST, FIGHT HUNGER AND BUILD COMMUNITY

VOLUNTEER POSITION

We are looking for an office-based Administrative Assistant for data entry and database management. This position will manage volunteer data, program data, and other important organization tasks for Food Forward's food-recovery programs. We ask that applicants have a strong knowledge and interest in data management (Excel, Google Docs), comfort with internet-based software, and have a strong sense of being a team player.

Key Responsibilities:

  •              Data Entry and Communication: update harvest, property, and volunteer information in database.
  •              Organization technique improvement: Streamline Food Forward's database management workflow, record techniques, build off of new software and available tools.
  •              The Database Management Assistant will report to the Volunteer Coordinator

An ideal candidate will have:

  •              An interest in food justice and community building
  •              Flexible schedule and ability to work in office setting in North Hollywood



Volunteers

POSITION OVERVIEW: The Backyard Harvest Program Volunteer Driver is responsible for transporting boxes of produce from LA Backyard Harvest events to nearby hunger relief agencies . Driver is required to have a clean driving record and be able to comfortably lift boxes of produce weighing 40-50 pounds each, frequently in large numbers. Driver with her/his own large vehicle is preferred, but option to use equipment vans which are stored in North Hollywood and San Marino is available. Driver will pick up full boxes of freshly harvested fruit from private residences, public parks and other locations Food Forward is hosting harvest events, and transport them to hunger relief agencies (i.e. food pantries/banks, senior centers, homeless shelters) located within a 1-10 mile radius. By fulfilling this position, Driver will have the opportunity to connect with volunteers, fruit donors, receiving agencies, and other community partners. This position will support the Los Angeles County Backyard Harvest program in creating an opportunity for program growth and providing the necessary transportation of harvested produce to hunger relief agencies in the community of the Driver.

HOURS: ~30 minutes, 1-4 times per month as needed. Availability on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday a plus, but weekdays are also helpful.

COMPENSATION: This position is unpaid. All non-commuter miles driven will be reimbursed.

BACKYARD HARVEST PROGRAM: The Backyard Harvesting Program started in 2009 in the San Fernando Valley when two volunteers harvested from a single tree and harvested over 800 pounds of tangerines. To date, this program has donated over 2 million pounds to over 60 local receiving agencies in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties (with some additional work done in Santa Barbara, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties). The Backyard Harvesting Program administers a volunteer-­‐based, systematized collection of produce that would otherwise go to waste from backyard fruit trees and commercial orchards. 100% of this fruit is donated to agencies serving those in need.

Drivers are needed in the following communities: San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Westside.

HOW TO APPLY: Please email volunteer@foodforward.org to let us know if you are interested in this volunteer position. Please include an email and phone number that we can reach you at.