Every year, Flavor of LA will aim to recognize and support a local charity that works to improve the lives of Angelenos. For our First Annual event we can’t think of a more deserving choice than Food Forward, whose mission is to rescue fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. A portion of all ticket sales will benefit Food Forward.
The Story of Food Forward
In January 2009, Rick Nahmias was walking through his neighborhood in Valley Glen, California with his dog and stumbled—almost quite literally—upon the concept that became Food Forward. Rick realized the vast amount of wasted fruit in his own neighborhood could become a sustainable source of nutrition for the food insecure. With only two volunteers and a single backyard, over 800 pounds of fruit was produced from the first “pick.”
In 2011, Food Forward matured from an all-volunteer, grassroots group to gaining 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Ventura County became home to the second Food Forward branch and collection spread to the San Gabriel Valley. Today, Food Forward focuses its efforts on three primary produce recovery programs: Backyard Harvest, Farmers Market Recovery, and Wholesale Produce Market Recovery.
Produce is delivered within 24 hours or less of recovery to over 150 hunger relief organizations, some of whom distribute to an additional 300 direct service agencies. This nutritious produce reaches people in need through social service agencies of all kinds. Gleaning labor is provided by 7,000 community volunteers at an average of over 160 produce recovery events a month.
In the last 7 years, Food Forward has rescued over 25 million pounds (over 100 million servings) of fresh local produce.
Food Forward’s produce recovery programs provide an innovative, cost-effective, scalable, and replicable solution to the increasing need for food donations and the shortage of nutritious options available to our Southern California neighbors in need.
For more information on this great organization please visit www.foodforward.org.