A Food Forward volunteer picks fruit for a food bank. (Stefan Paltera / For The…)
Three and a half years ago, Rick Nahmias found a use for the untended citrus trees he saw in his Valley neighborhood. He organized volunteers and began harvesting the food for people in need, giving birth to Food Forwardwith one 85-pound harvest.
His idea blossomed, and Food Forward announced that it had picked a million pounds of fruit. This week, it begins “harvesting” at a new location: farmers markets. The Farmers Market Recovery Program begins Wednesday in Santa Monica. Markets in Studio City and Hollywood follow.
Food Forward “glean teams” will gather unsold produce from the farmers at the market's closing and deliver it to nearby agencies. Laura Avery, supervisor of the Santa Monica market, says the farmers are happy about the program.
“We are especially pleased that Step Up on Second, serving homeless and mentally ill individuals living in Santa Monica, who might not otherwise have access to California’s abundant and nutritious fruits and vegetables, will be the recipient of the bounty we have to share,” she said.