I recently got wind of a fantastic grass roots effort going on in the LA area. This new initiative prioritizes local food, reduces waste, and addressed the issue of food insecurity among low income residents in and around Los Angeles.
The organization is called Food Forward. The graphic on their homepage (above) is sweet, and their site is simple and well organized. They must have a great graphic designer on their team. More important than their cool looking site though, is their work.
Check out their description of what they do:
FOOD FORWARD is an all volunteer grassroots group of Angelenos who care about reconnecting to our food system and making change around urban hunger.
Several times a month we convene at a private property we have been invited to and glean the excess fruit on their trees, donating 100% of it to local food pantries.
Our current receiving partner is SOVA Community Food and Resource Program, a 501c.3 program of Jewish Family Services, which distributes food to over 7,000 clients a month across Southern California.
I am majorly impressed by this effort.
While their site lists all of their major picks, they have also launched a blog to keep people up to date on more last minute opportunities. It seems that they sometimes get more last minute offers for picking, so the blog allows them to invite followers more spontaneously. You can also follow them on Twitter.
There are several reasons why I am a fan of this effort. The fact that it brings local, and in most cases organic produce to food pantries is clearly a great thing. This project certainly benefits low-income Angelenos. However, I am also really happy about the impact it has for those who volunteer to pick the fruit and those who allow the trees on their property to be gleaned. Through Food Forward, pickers are able to reconnect with natural sources of food in their climate. I imagine that picking large amounts of fruits for a day makes people think more about where their food comes from; it may even lead them to prioritize buying local or organic in the future. Furthermore, the resident who offers their tree or orchard for picking is clearly thinking more about waste and trying to reduce it. That is encouraging. I am sure donating their excess produce to a food pantry also makes tree owners more aware of the issue of food insecurity among the poor in their city.
Happy Friday everyone.
P.S. You can also follow me on Twitter. Most of my tweets relate to this blog, some relate to my life. Its not an exclusive blog-content account, but it is a way to follow my project and learn more about me if you care to do so.