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Getting food to people who need it

September 15, 2009 |  2:50 pm
Gleaning After a story was published about Food Forward, a group of people who pick produce that's going unharvested and pass it on to food banks, we heard from readers who are trying to help feed the hungry by taking advantage of food that's otherwise not being used.

AmpleHarvest.org is connecting back yard gardeners who have more than they can use with pantries that need the food. The founder, Gary Oppenheimer, says that after he became director of the community garden in West Milford, N.J., he learned that many gardeners left food unharvested if they couldn't eat it or give it away.

So he started AmpleHarvest in May; 900 pantries around the country are registered on the site, he says.

We also heard from Adriana Martinez, who lives in the Long Beach neighborhood of Wrigley. Last  month, the residents there opened the Wrigley Village Community Garden on Pacific Avenue.

Martinez is the garden manager and says she hopes "to inspire youth to be good stewards of the land and teach all to grow their own. Local resident Sammy Portillo actively works with at risk youth and has donated a plot to neighborhood children and is often found in the garden working with them. Our 6th district Councilman Dee Andrews also donated a plot to a low income family that lives adjacent to the garden."

The industry group the Egg Board has launched the Good Egg Project, as in being a good egg. And for each good egg out there who pledges to "eat good. Do good every day," farmers will donate one egg to the charity Feeding America, up to 1 million eggs.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Food Forward volunteers at work last month. Photo by Stefano Paltera / Los Angeles Times