Come learn about the Food Forward Backyard Harvesting Program, Farmer's Market Recovery Program, and other ways to help make an impact in Southern California by getting fresh fruits and vegetables to those needing them most.
Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, (called “gleaning”), connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. They convene at Farmers Markets, backyards, and properties they're invited to and harvest excess fruits and vegetables. They donate 100% of the gleaned produce to local food pantries across southern California.
Combined, their numerous distribution partners provide food to over 40,000 clients a month across Southern California. Since forming in 2009, they have harvested over 1,680,000 lbs. of produce. They couldn’t do it without the help of local volunteers who are passionate and active in their efforts to harvest food, fight hunger and build community.
Food Forward not only battles hunger in Southern California, but also battles the environmental issue of food waste. An article published in the journal PLOS in 2009 calculated that food grown and then thrown away accounts for almost one-quarter of all America’s freshwater use. Food dumped in a landfill rots and creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2. In the EPA’s Food Recovery Heirarchy, donating surplus food to the hungry is the second most important step to solving the food waste problem - even more important than composting!