Employee volunteers are expected to collect 4,000 pounds of oranges, or 12,000 servings, for distribution to those who are food insecure.
This Sunday, ProduceGood, with the help of 25 volunteers from our company will glean oranges at a private residential orchard in North County. After the two-hour event, the produce will be handed off to Feeding San Diego to distribute to those in need in San Diego County. This represents our company, Feeding San Diego and ProduceGood’s return to large-scale volunteer events, after pandemic.
Like most organizations, we ceased any in-person activities, including volunteerism, during the height of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order. After a few-month hiatus, our safety officers provided the green light to bring back employee volunteerism in a new way.
In summer 2020, we adapted our marquee employee volunteerism program, Environmental All-Stars, to comply with COVID-19 public health orders. That meant ensuring socially distancing, face coverings, small groups and household-unit volunteering. Operating under specific safety guidelines, employee volunteer service continued with neighborhood cleanups and crop gleaning events with our nonprofit partner ProduceGood.
As a small organization, ProduceGood relies on hundreds of volunteers to harvest excess produce in backyards, on farms and at farmers markets to benefit over 50 local feeding partners who serve food-insecure individuals in our county.
Fast forward one year later and we have partnered with ProduceGood to organize eleven (11) ‘First Pick’ volunteer events. In total, volunteers harvested more than 14,000 pounds of citrus, providing in excess of 42,000 servings of fruit to the food-insecure of San Diego. Thanks to our partnership with ProduceGood, more than 100 of our employees and their families have had the opportunity to volunteer in a critical time of need across our communities.
Since the pandemic, ProduceGood has exclusively hosted small group and individual picks across their gleaning programs, typically partnering with smaller-scale food receiving agencies to accept and distribute the produce from First Picks. After a pandemic hiatus, Feeding San Diego, the county’s leading hunger relief and food rescue organization, is rejoining forces with ProduceGood to scale up its efforts.
Become a Volunteer!
Through their signature CropSwap program, ProduceGood offers many different ways to get involved with efforts that address food insecurity and reduce waste. You can learn more about opportunities to help at their volunteer page.