Food Forward is a nonprofit organization that helps save 353,000 pounds of the surplus of crops every week from fruit trees, farm markets, and the Los Angeles Grocery Market. The produce is then donated to people who lack food.
The organization began when in January 2009, Rick Nahmias as its founder saw an abundantly wasted fruit in his neighborhood while walking in Valley Glen, California. He also realized that the wasted fruit can be a source of sustainable nutrition for people who lack food.
Initially, this organization was started by only a few people, two volunteers, and one backyard. However, the fruits earned at first start are more than 800 pounds in the first “passage”. Now, the volunteers joining the organization are getting more and more targeted garden.
Fruits and vegetables are picked, 100% of the proceeds are donated to more than 575 institutions that facilitate the needy environment in 8 areas in Southern California. The agency provides relief for hungry people in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, , Imperial, Ventura, San Bernardino Orange, San Diego and Riverside Counties.
There are three programs run by Food Forward. First, Backyard Harvesting. Generally, one fruit tree can produce hundreds of pounds of fruit is very excessive if consumed by just one family only. To that end, the organization created a program in which its volunteers would reap the fruits of private trees and public spaces. All the proceeds are donated to local hunger relief agencies.
The program runs around Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. Thousands of volunteers per year participate in the program. The property owner will receive a tax-deductible receipt for their contribution. The fruits they donate are certainly distributed to the needy citizens.
The second program is Farmers Market Recovery. This program was first implemented in 2012 at Santa Monica Farmer Market held every Wednesday. The idea is very simple, that is to connect the local and fresh fruit that remains on the last day of the farm market with people who lack food in the neighborhood.
Currently, there are 23 farmer markets that have supported the program. Every week Food Forward volunteers pick up the remaining fruit in the farm markets around Los Angeles and Ventura. This program has saved an average of 52,000 pounds of crops per month.
The way it works is that volunteers meet before the farm market ends, then give some boxes to vendors in the hope that they will donate. The boxes later on collected and weighed weighed after that picked up by food forward agency. The agency then distributes it to their clients over a 72-hour period.
The third program is Wholesale Recovery. This program includes the latest program from Food Forward. The first time the program takes place at the Wholesale Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles, California’s largest wholesale market. Every five days a week, teams carry 2 of 24 ‘trucks to the market in the early morning to receive fruit and vegetable pallets.
A payload truck can accommodate 15,000 pounds of crops. It has become commonplace for Wholesale Recovery staff to handle double the charge before the early morning. The proceeds of the earth will be sent to a very large famine relief agency to then be distributed to their clients. As a result, by 2016 this program has helped to recover and donate 17.4 million pounds of crops.
The existence of this organization is very beneficial for the population. Instead of wasting more fruits and vegetables that are not eaten or leftover on sale, Food Forward makes them even more valuable. We can do the same, if we have more food, should be donated to people who need it more the same as what it has been done by Food Forward.