June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Westside farmers markets donate unsold produce to worthy causes

Farmers market left-overs help the hungry.
Food Forward volunteers glean farmers market left-overs to help the hungry. (Courtesy Photo: Food Forward)

Ever wondered what happens to fresh produce that’s left over each week at farmers markets across the Westside?

While it may be simple to dispose of unsold produce in dumpsters, many prominent Westside farmers markets thankfully do not take the easy way out.

Rather, most are partnered with various organizations to ensure that the unsold and unconsumed fresh produce goes to agencies that help people in need.

Among the local farmers markets helping fight hunger through the donation of their unsold produce are those located in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Culver City.

Greta Dunlap, manager of the Beverly Hills farmers market, weighed in on what the city’s standard method is after its weekly produce sales.

“A team of volunteers glean from the market and take the food leftovers to All Saints’ Church in Beverly Hills,” Dunlap said.

She added that produce is usually used to prepare meals for the homeless and the underserved.

As for the City of Santa Monica, which holds a handful of farmers markets throughout the week, the surplus produce from the Wednesday (Arizona Ave.) and Sunday (Main St.) markets are taken care of through a partnership with Food Forward, a market recovery non-profit organization.

Food Forward collects produce at 11 markets in Los Angeles each week that on average glean about 25,000 pounds of fresh free produce per month.

Laura Avery, the Santa Monica farmers market program supervisor as well as the Wednesday market manager, helped develop the relationships between Food Forward and Santa Monica’s farmers markets.

She said she continues to be very supportive of Food Forward’s initiatives.

Food Forward originated as a volunteer-run backyard harvesting organization and has always fostered an expertise in appropriately placing surplus food where it is most needed.

The organization’s mission is to distribute locally grown food from public spaces and private homes and help feed the region’s most vulnerable population, all the while raising awareness of sustainability and food justice.

Managed by Leah Boyer, the Farmers Market Recovery Program was founded in 2012, with its first farmers market gleaning in Santa Monica taking place in June of that year.

That first day, 1,313 pounds of leftover produce were collected and received by the St. Joseph’s Center in Venice and the CLARE Foundation in Santa Monica, which are both agencies that still pick up or receive distribution of surplus produce from the Santa Monica markets today.

Step Up on Second (located on 2nd St. in Santa Monica) has also been added to the list of receiving agencies. Over the past two years, 104,839 pounds of produce have been collected at the Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market.

Avery mentioned that surplus produce from the Santa Monica markets also goes toward other causes, including a high school in Pasadena where market boxes are assembled by special-needs students and sold to local clients and teachers.

In Brentwood, Food Forward helps distribute market leftovers to organizations A Place Called Home, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), and EngAGE. Food Forward began its services with the Brentwood farmers market in March of this year and has already been able to collect 25,500 pounds of produce since then.

In addition to Santa Monica and Brentwood, eight additional neighborhood markets including Brentwood, Culver City, and Pacific Palisades partake in the Farmers Market Recovery Program, with a total of 450,000 pounds of produce gleaned, 250 farmers/vendors participating, and 37 receiving agencies being served.

Food Forward utilizes its own boxes and other equipment, weighs all received donations, provides vendors with tax receipts, and welcomes produce from all farmers who are interested in participating.

Food Forward is also looking for lead volunteers to assist in maintaining this worthy cause. There are a number of ways to get involved, including serving as a farmers market gleaner.

For more information, visit foodforward.org.

• The Beverly Hills farmers market is located along the 9300 block of Civic Center Dr. between 3rd St. and Santa Monica Blvd and takes place Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm.

• The Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market is located on Arizona Ave. between 4th St. and Ocean Ave. and takes place from 8:30 am and 1:30 pm. The Sunday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is located at 2640 Main St. and takes place from 9:30 am to 1 pm.

• The Brentwood farmers market is located at 741 Gretna Green Way. It takes place on Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm.

 

Related Posts

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Culver City PRCS Hosts Summer Splash Kick-Off Event

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Join PRCS for Fun-Filled Recreational Swim Activities The Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS) department of Culver City is gearing...

Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27 Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on...

Los Angeles City Council Postpones Vote on Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Decision on Historic Monument Status Rescheduled for June 26  After Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary decision on the motion...

AMC Theatres Unveils Eight Money-Saving Deals for Summer Movie Season

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Enjoy Discounted Tickets, Special Promotions, and Fan Favorites at AMC If you are a movie lover who has not been...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...