Some of my friends are lucky enough to have yards and mature fruit trees in their yards (yes, in Los Angeles). Luck can be a relative thing when the oranges, apples, and lemons start to ripen and there are too many to eat, juice and give away to friends and neighbors.

Food Forward has a solution which allows you to donate your excess fresh produce to food banks and others who need it; all you have to do is have enough ripe fruit (6-8 shopping bags worth) for the volunteers to come pick it (yes, they will even pick it for you). They give priority to those with 150 lbs or more of fruit to harvest and 100% of all the donations are then distributed on a need basis with the most needy food pantries receiving the first fruits of the season.

If you don’t have a yard or fruit to donate, you can still help as a volunteer as they go on the “Big Picks” to orchards where they need dozens of people to help harvest up to 11,ooo pounds of fruit; this is one way of truly giving the fruits of your labor to those in need and who will appreciate it the most.