Last year's harvest yielded nearly 2,500 pounds of fruit.

Last year’s harvest yielded nearly 2,500 pounds of fruit. Photos courtesy of flickr.com creative commons.

Harvest Sacramento is teaming up with Harvest Tahoe Park to collect fruit from various trees in the area. These generous food donations will benefit the surrounding community as well as the Sacramento Food Bank.

The harvest was originally scheduled for Saturday, February 8th. However, this date has been cancelled due to unexpected rain. Coordinators are now trying to choose a new gleaning day. There are still many volunteers eager to pick fruit and give back to their community.

Last year, nearly 80 enthusiastic volunteers harvested about 2,500 pounds of fruit. This year, Harvest Sacramento is hoping to get even more volunteers and donations.

The organization began with the simple observation that a lot of fruit in the Sacramento area wasn’t being utilized. Fruit would fall on the ground or rot on the tree without being eaten. Areas like these are often referred to as urban food forests. Now, thanks to Harvest Sacramento, this food is redistributed to people who need it the most.

“I was hooked on Harvest Sacramento the very first time I volunteered a little over a year ago,” said Charleen McDaniel, Harvest Tahoe Park Coordinator. “I knew that I wanted to get involved on a much deeper level though and I now coordinate my own neighborhood harvests for Tahoe Park, under the umbrella of Harvest Sacramento.”

This Saturday, volunteers are to meet up with their coordinator at Tahoe Park. After a few hours, all of the food is brought back to the meeting place to be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank, volunteers, and the surrounding community.

“The best part of this Program is the community involved,” said McDaniel. “from the volunteers who give up their Saturday mornings to harvest fruit, to the home owners who so graciously let us into their yards, to the individuals who run everything and make it all happen, and most importantly the folks who have a need or desire to use the fruit. I feel like each participant takes a little piece of the program with them that then trickles into their own lives.”

Harvest Sacramento also accepts donations of vegetables, as long as there is more than 100 pounds per site. Otherwise, you can go ahead and share your crops with your neighbors or donate directly to a food assistance agency yourself.

Although most of Harvest Sacramento’s work is done within the city limits, the organization also reaches Rosemont, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Wilton, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Citrus Heights and Carmichael. You can find out about upcoming harvesting events near you, here.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to volunteer with parental consent. If you would like to request that your tree be harvested, volunteer to glean, or find another way to help, you can volunteer with Harvest Sacramento, here.