Several years ago I interviewed a talented photographer Rick Nahmias about a moving photo series he did called The Migrant Project. Next thing I knew he was talking about getting a few friends together to go to people’s front and back yards to pick fruit off trees that wasn’t being eaten and donate it to the LA Regional Food Bank. I thought to myself. “That’s a nice little project”. Cut to a few short years later. Rick is the founder and executive director of Food Forward, a thriving non-profit firmly positioned amidst the groundswell of folks working on food justice issues in LA County. So far volunteers have picked and collected a total of 4.5 million lbs. of fruit that’s gone directly to people who need it.
Now I read in Los Angeles Magazine that they have started a new initiative which has the potential to yield stunning results. Food Forward has targeted the huge produce market in DTLA (second only to the one in NYC) as ripe pickings for food recovery or gleaning. In a low profile beta testing period they managed to recover 300,000 lbs of fruit and produce in the first month. That’s 2 million pounds during the first five months so far. All this schlepping (and a massive schlep job it is!) is being done so far with a borrowed truck that can only be used on certain days.
Imagine how much more productive their efforts will be when their current indiegogo campaign to purchase a new truck for full time wholesale gleaning use is successful. Which of course it will be with us in their corner. They have 9 days left to raise the last 14k. Please help. All the food they recover from the LA Produce Mart would end up in the garbage. The truck will also allow them to expand their Farmers Markets gleaning program.
Many of you frequently ask me how you can help in the area of food justice work. Well, here you go.