During the holiday season, people hurry around buying gifts, cooking feasts, and gathering with friends and loved ones. As individuals are focused on holiday happenings and plans, Food Forward is searching for fruit trees hiding in backyards and waiting to be harvested. Many homes in Ventura County are blessed with abundant fruit trees, and residents can only eat a fraction of what their trees produce. On the other hand, numerous residents do not have access to local, fresh produce and lack basic nutrition that many take for granted. One in five Ventura County children will be food insecure at some point during the year. Food pantries offer what they can in the way of fresh food, but much of what they receive for distribution lacks the freshness and vitamins offered by backyard fruit.
That is where Food Forward comes in. Food Forward strives to bridge that gap between neighborhood excess and community need, by mobilizing volunteers to harvest fruit from backyards and delivering directly to local food pantries. These fresh fruits are distributed to families and individuals within a few days, providing produce more fresh than can be purchased at the grocery store to those in need.
Food Forward is looking for trees in Ventura County that have extra fruit. Owners or renters can make an in-kind donation that is tax deductible and a creative way to share during this season of giving. If residents do not have trees, they can refer their neighbors or volunteer to help harvest fruit. Donors and volunteers can sign up at foodforward.org or call at 630-2728. Share abundance and give back this winter.