Can Excess Fruit Fight Urban Hunger?
Image credit: Food Forward
Fresh fruit isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think about LA. Nevertheless, we've already heard about Fallen Fruit—an art project turned activist movement which aims to liberate unused 'public' fruit. (The movement eventually lead to a take over of LA Art Museum with some edible environmental art.) Another crew of Angelinos seeking to redefine their cities relationship to food is Food Forward. By gleaning excess fruit from gardens and orchard, Food Forward distributes thousands of pounds worth of good, nutritious food to organizations fighting urban hunger. Most weeks, groups of a dozen or so volunteers converge on a garden or orchards (by invite of the owner) for a "mini-pick", and glean any unused or unwanted fruit. They then distribute the fruit through their non-profit partners SOVA Community Food and Resource Program, a program of Jewish Family Services, and MEND POVERTY—groups which in turn share their food with over 30,000 clients across LA.
But "mini-picks" are just one part of the puzzle. Every quarter (does that include winter!?), the group also organizes a "Big-Pick", where several dozen volunteers gather at a single property to glean fruit for the whole day, as well as raise awareness about the issue of urban hunger.
To donate your fruit, or volunteer to pick, head on over to the Food Forward website. Wasted food is crazy whichever way you look at it, but when people are going hungry it's kind of obscene.