Volunteers from both nonprofit organizations will work together to harvest excess fruits and vegetables from backyards, public spaces and neighborhoods throughout Ventura County. FOOD Share will then distribute the bulk of this produce to the more than 74,500 people they feed each month.
"Our commercial growers and agriculture community provide our largest portion of donated food but we know there are many generous people and businesses here in Ventura County who will gladly share from their own gardens," said Bonnie Weigel, FOOD Share CEO. "Working with Food Forward, we hope to take advantage of this additional source of healthy fresh produce and use it to help us feed our hungry friends."
“We couldn’t think of a more robust partner than FOOD Share, nor a more abundant geography than Ventura County, to begin our first branch outside of L.A.,” said Rick Nahmias, Founder/Executive Director. Food Forward Ventura County Coordinator, Martha Penhall will be managing ongoing branch operations from an office at FOOD Share in Oxnard.
FOOD Share and Food Forward will kick off the new partnership on Saturday, June 23 at 9AM when team members from both organizations, and the public participate in the ‘Partner Pickin’ community harvest at the Camarillo business International Paper. International Paper, which has already opened their campus for several harvests, is supporting Food Forward’s ongoing efforts by donating thousands of citrus boxes that will store the organization’
Both organizations rely heavily on the help of volunteers. To learn more about how to get involved as a harvester or fruit donor, go to www.foodshare.com or www.foodforward.org/
The public is invited to participate in the June 23rd harvest. To sign up, go to http://foodforward.org/
About FOOD Share
FOOD Share, Ventura County’s only regional food bank, distributes millions of pounds of food each year to those in need. FOOD Share provides food year-round to more than 74,500 Ventura County children, adults, seniors and families each month via more than 150 Ventura County pantry partner agencies and multiple programs.
FOOD Share’s many programs include the Senior Brown Bag supplemental nutrition program that provides supplemental groceries to nearly 2,000 low income seniors throughout Ventura County, the Senior Nutrition Program providing home delivered meals to homebound seniors in Oxnard and Ventura, and the Kids’ Farmers’ Markets that offer nutrition education, healthy recipe preparation, taste testing and a farmers’ market free fresh produce “shopping experience” to children in Ventura County afterschool programs.
In 2011, FOOD Share partnered with Ventura County’s Human Services Agency to provide expanded CalFresh enrollment assistance. CalFresh, formerly called food stamps, is the largest federal nutrition assistance program that provides supplemental nutrition assistance to eligible Ventura County residents.
About Food Forward:
Food Forward’s mission is to reconnect people with people – through food – by bringing together volunteers and neighbors to share in the gleaning and distributing of locally grown food from private homes and public spaces which is then distributed to local food pantries and organizations serving our community’s most vulnerable.
Having sprouted in early 2009, in just over three years, Food Forward has grown into Southern California’s largest harvesting-for-
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