Monday, November 02, 2009

Volunteering With Food Forward

Some time ago, I posted about how, in bounty-laden California, people have been getting together on private properties to pick fruit that would otherwise just rot away. This is done, of course, with the kind authorization of property owners, and the fruit is then donated to food pantries.

I just joined Food Forward here in Los Angeles - "a grassroots effort by Angelenos to help fight urban hunger." And on Sunday, I participated in my first orange pick. With a group of volunteers, we descended upon a garden in Northridge, reaching for oranges packed with sunshine and sugar; we then loaded the fruit-filled crates into an old blue hatch back car. All the oranges we picked will be distributed to struggling people around the LA area.
Writer's Almanac: The great Irish playwright Bernard Shaw, who gave us My Fair Lady via his witty, sharp and just plain wonderful play Pygmalion, died today (Nov. 2) 59 years ago.

25 comments:

Laura in Paris said...

Whether an orange grove or a few trees in one's garden, on way to happiness! I love citrus - have just had my morning orange juice.
There are so so many in your area in the yards, in the streets, this is a great initiative!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a fun way to volunteer! thanks for sharing your experience with them. i will definitely check Food Forward out :)

marie said...

sounds like fun, and a clever and practical thing to do! i love fruit picking.

Beth said...

Kudos to you for joining Food Forward.
I collect food for food drives but picking fresh fruit is a far more appealing venture – although both do serve the same worthy cause.

Debra said...

What a wonderful organization! I think I may check area orchards to see what they do with unpicked apples. The food banks and soup kitchen need all the help they can get. The decline in donations has been staggering.

Mary-Laure said...

BETH - yes, it's great to feel that what one's doing has a direct impact in helping others.

DEBRA - oh do check with the local orchards! Food banks are really in need of donations, especially when it comes to fresh produce, from what I read.
Keep me posted...

Sam said...

What a terrifically worthwhile thing to do! :) It also looks very pretty out there with all those gorgeous orange trees and sunny weather.

abigail said...

what a great idea!
Our community garden organized trips to take out extra produce to the food bank all summer, it felt great to be able to share my crops with people.
I going to look into whether or not if there is something like this here in Michigan. I drove by an apple orchard the just yesterday and there was tons and tons of fruit left to pick. would be tragic for it to go to waste when food banks are desperate for food.

Mary-Laure said...

SAM - ah yes it was sunny indeed and HOT!

ABIGAIL - I hope you'll keep me posted on this. I know there are many organizations all over the country that try to collect fruit that would otherwise go to waste, so hopefully you'll find one in your area.

Angie Muresan said...

That is such a wonderful thing to do for the community! Makes everyone feel good.

josephine said...

what a fantastic effort! such a great idea.

If Jane said...

great that you are involved...every little bit helps..plu i think it is uber important to eat fruit!

Mary-Laure said...

IF JANE - yes it IS very important, and it's precisely what food banks need most...

Miss Madeline said...

How sad, My Fair Lady is so thoroughly wonderful

Annie said...

What a wonderful idea. It feels good to do something that helps others. xoxo

Seraphine said...

it's a wonderful thing you do. you and your fellow volunteers.
up here in the bay area, grapes are rotting on the vines. unfortunately, growers can't sell them to the wineries, because there is a recession glut.
its tough times for many people.

Joyful said...

A wonderful idea! Where my mom lives, it is apricots that are in plentiful supply. So far I've never seen anyone collect them to give out to the poor but there are a lot of people picking them up from the streets and sides of streets to take them home and can. That is good, otherwise they would go to waste. BTW, thank u for leaving a comment on my blog about Crosses for Missions. Do you get back to Kenya often?

iñaki said...

I know I may repeat myself. But I love how you can make such ordinary things make so beautiful.

xx

Spangler Cummings said...

Wouldn't I know that you would do something so kind and giving as to provide sweet fruit to those who don't have. A "Naughty Amish Girl," could have gotten into velly beeg trouble!

Mary-Laure said...

JOYFUL - it's good that people are picking them, even if they keep them for themselves. I mean, I just hate seeing food, especially produce, go to waste.
Unfortunately, I have never had a chance to go back to Kenya after I left the country as a child. My nanny sometimes sends us pictures of herself with her family, and it's always a very moving event - she named one of her daughters after my mum as a tribute. We love her!

SPANGLER - trouble is my friend; I'm sure you would have come to bail me out, right...

buster said...

I love the photoset!

donna baker said...

You're a good egg ML. I wanted to tell you that in the Aug/Sep issue of Jaime (Oliver), there is a lengthy article about the Royal Ballet's dancers. It showcases them and their families with the focus on their eating habits and recipes from different dancers. It was a good, interesting article. I found my copy at Barnes and Noble. I've only read 2 issues, but really enjoy the new mag.

Mary-Laure said...

DONNA - thank you SO MUCH for the info! I will definitely check it out at Barnes & Noble.

Rebecca said...

What an awesome organization, and so neat that you participated in this! :) It's an excellent idea - I'm glad to see fresh fruit getting to hungry people! The norm for donating food seems to be "non-perishable" which is usually just cheap junky food.

muralimanohar said...

That is SO.COOL. Love it.

Around here, the breadfruit trees have been in season, with SO MUCH fruit on them. Breadfruit is eaten green, and has a similar texture when cooked to a potato. It KILLS me how much food is going to waste, cause the people in the house don't know how to or want to work with it, and nobody else is collecting it. Even I can't eat it, cause apparently my dd and I are mildly allergic to it. :(