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Nonprofit group gleans 1 million servings of fruit for food banks


Food Forward, the nonprofit group that picks fruit for donation to food banks, says it has picked 1 million servings of fruit as of this week. That’s about 250,000 to 260,000 pounds in its two years, says the founder, Rick Nahmias.

He began Food Forward when he noticed many trees groaning with unpicked fruit in his neighborhood. Turns out there are trees with fruit available all over the area. People who want their fruit picked can contact Food Forward, and it organizes groups of volunteers to glean it.

On Saturday, for example, volunteers are going to Montecito to pick Valencia oranges on an estate. But frequently, the destination is a home with a tree or two.

Since Food Forward started it has mostly collected citrus fruit, but sometimes picks other things, including avocados, Nahmias says.

The produce goes to SOVA, a program of Jewish Family Services, and MEND Poverty. They distribute food to 30,000 clients a month.

-- Mary MacVean

Image: Food Forward

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