Standing amidst the bounty of the Santa Monica Farmers Market, a raggedly dressed man with a tired face holds up a tattered cardboard sign: “Hungry, please help.”
Just half a block south is Step Up on Second, one of three local social service agencies that could offer him fresh produce from the market, brought in just that day.
On this particular winter Wednesday, 26 labeled boxes containing 554 pounds of apples, citrus, salad greens, kale, squash, garlic, turnips, cucumbers, and radishes have been collected by friendly volunteers wearing hats and aprons that say “Food Forward.”
They’re members of “Glean Teams” representing the four-year-old nonprofit organization Food Forward, whose new Farmers Market Recovery Program collects fresh produce donated by the farmers at the end of the market day. [Full disclosure: I’m a member of Food Forward’s advisory board.] Here in Santa Monica, it’s distributed to Step Up on Second, The Clare Foundation, and St. Joseph Center i... Read more