Borrowed partially from an article written by Jody Morgan in the
August 2023 edition of Alamo Today and Danville Today News.
Contra Costa Fruit Rescue (CCFR) has been making a huge impact on saving excess fruit from waste and getting it to those in need since the non-profit began harvesting in January 2023. CCFR is an all-volunteer organization launched in partnership with ForestR. CCFR brings teams of workers to harvest fruit, free of charge for area residents, and getting the fruit directly to local food resources such as White Pony Express, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and local food pantries. Individuals and families who lack access to fresh, nutritious fruit receive healthy additions to their diet.
CCFR has picked up where The Urban Farmer (TUF) left off
CCFR Program Lead Pat Schultz used to be with TUF, but the TUF organization shut down operations during the COVID pandemic. Former TUF Harvest Leaders, donors, and volunteers eagerly embraced the new, fully insured CCFR non-profit organization. Fahim Shafi, Danville Area Harvest Leader, is delighted to be gleaning* again with CCFR, saying, “The part I enjoy most about being able to lead a backyard harvest is reducing waste, helping alleviate poverty, and developing a sense of community awareness and action. (*Gleaning is the practice of harvesting excess crops and donating them to food resource partners throughout our community.)
A homeowner in Danville with a large orange tree said, “I was sad when The Urban Farmers closed. When Fahim told me that CCFR was ready to harvest, I couldn’t jump on his list fast enough. The harvest volunteers are efficient and they never leave a mess. I don’t worry if I can’t be home while they are working.”
Volunteers and Donors are needed
As word gets around, new donors and new volunteers are signing up to help harvest. As one volunteer explains, “I discovered Contra Costa Fruit Rescue on Eventbrite while searching for odd-ball volunteer opportunities. Harvesting is a small commitment of time and energy that makes such a large impact. I do my best to get the word out about CCFR by passing out postcards and telling my coworkers about events.”
Additional Harvest Leaders are also needed to meet the ever-increasing demand from homeowners and commercial or u-pick farmers registering trees throughout Contra Costa County and in towns across the border like Dublin and Pleasanton.
Getting involved in supporting CCFR’s mission is simple. It all starts by visiting the organization’s website: forestr.org/fruit-rescue/ where donors register their trees for harvest and harvest volunteers can find the link to register via Eventbrite for upcoming gleanings. Harvests are held throughout the year as different types of fruit ripen in different seasons. Most harvests are held on weekends. Because some fruits need to be picked as soon as they ripen, mid-week harvests are occasionally possible.
CCFR is seeking donations
CCFR can always use monetary donations, but are currently trying to fund the purchase of the organization’s own walk–in transit van to accommodate more equipment, including ladders; and to transport larger quantities of fruit. Donations can be made right on the website. Thank you.