Dory Bennett, Class of 2012, visited First Friday on October 5 to introduce parents to Food Forward, the non-profit organization where she now works. During Dory’s presentation we learned that Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by harvesting fresh produce from backyard fruit trees and orchards and gathering donations from farmers markets and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. Food Forward sends volunteers to private properties, college campuses such as Occidental College and Cal State Northridge, as well as to places like Huntington Garden to harvest produce. The food harvested is donated to hunger relief agencies across eight Southern California counties; these agencies distribute produce to people struggling with food insecurity in our communities. Dory described an orange as the perfect food for someone who lives on the street. It can be stored, lasts a long time, and can be peeled and eaten without preparation. Dory pointed out that many fruit trees in our neighborhoods produce thousands of pounds of fruit, much of which goes unpicked.
Dory returned to Waverly, home of her social justice roots, to partner us with Food Forward. Plans are underway for her to present to several classes at Waverly, including the third/fourth grade class studying trees and the tenth-grade wellness classes. A plot at the farm, specifically for Food Forward, has been discussed. Dory encouraged families to contact her if they would like to volunteer or have trees available for harvest.