Focus on Food Justice: Food Forward
"LA has the largest food insecure population in the United States." - Huffington Post
An estimated 2 million, or 1 in 5 people in Los Angeles County live with food insecurity every day, meaning they don't know if they will eat or go hungry on a daily basis. Can you imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from? For the months of October and November, Farmer Claude will be donating 10% of proceeds to Food Forward, a Los Angeles based organization that takes fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market and delivers it to hunger relief agencies across 8 counties of Los Angeles. From Food Forward's first harvest in early 2009 till now, over 100 million pounds (400 million servings) of fresh produce have been rescued! In 2019 alone, Food Forward was able to recover over 26 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through their 1,800 community-based partners, this produce helps to feed 2 million people across Southern California each year.
Food Forward's motto is: Harvest Food - Fight Hunger - Build Community. With the help of volunteers, they do this via three programs: backyard harvesting, the farmers market recovery program, and the wholesale recovery program. For the backyard harvesting program, volunteers are sent out to people's homes, public parks and spaces to harvest food from fruit trees; this food is then donated to local agencies. The farmers market recovery program collects food that is not sold at the end of the market day and delivers it to agencies within a few miles of each market site. The wholesale recovery program takes pallets and truckloads of food from the wholesale produce district in downtown LA that does not get sold and gets it to larger scale agencies that can handle that amount of produce.
The work that Food Forward does of produce recovery is important because it promotes 3 essential pillars of sustainability: supporting a healthy environment, contributing to a strong economy, and building more equitable communities where more people around Los Angeles have access to nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste. Check out this neat infographic:
Find out more and how you can get involved at www.foodforward.org.