Kvell and Tell – November 24 2020 – Food Forward: An Update from Or Ami’s Truck
In 2017, through the generosity of the members Congregation Or Ami, Food Forward purchased a 24’ box truck for the Wholesale Produce Recovery program. Wholesale Produce Recovery is the organization’s highest-volume food recovery model. This program rescues fresh, unsold fruits and vegetables from commercial or wholesale produce vendors to prevent unnecessary waste and connect fresh, nutritious produce to Southern Californians experiencing hunger.
In the 3+ years this truck has been on the road, it directly collected, hauled, and distributed over 25 MILLION pounds of surplus produce, connecting these fruits and vegetables with Food Forward’s hunger relief partners across Southern California. That’s over 100 million servings of fruits and vegetables, which reached millions of food insecure families across the region.
Now, this truck helps Food Forward recover and distribute at least five million pounds of produce annually, rescuing more than 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables to donate to those we serve. This enormous diversity of vitamin-rich food is a nutritious bounty that many of our partner agencies could not otherwise afford to provide to clients.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this truck has helped Food Forward meet an even greater need for nutritious food. This summer, one in four Los Angeles County households experienced food insecurity, and millions sought emergency food assistance for the first time. The Wholesale program was the foundation of Food Forward’s pandemic response, and staff have been working around the clock to rescue and distribute as much food as possible during the health crisis. Already, Food Forward has distributed more the 50 million pounds of produce across the region in 2020. We seek to maintain this increased level of food distribution service into 2021 as our community continues to contend with the economic and food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic.
If you are interested in supporting Food Forward’s work in 2021, please visit: foodforward.org/donate In addition, they look forward to welcoming volunteers to harvests and gleans in 2021. Visit foodforward.org/volunteer to get involved!