Harvest Fruit in Ventura as a Food Forward Pick Leader!

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Who: Do you like fighting hunger & food waste in your own community, making your own volunteer schedule, and working outside? You may love being a Pick Leader! Pick Leaders are trained volunteers who harvest fruit all across Southern California.

You must be at least 16 years old to train as a Pick Leader, and volunteers 16 - 17 years old must have a parent or legal guardian who trains and volunteers with them.

What: Pick Leaders can choose to harvest fruit trees in any of the following ways: (1) by themselves; (2) with family and/or friends; or (3) by leading harvest events that are open to volunteers from the public (which Food Forward recruits for you). Food Forward communicates with homeowners and managers of private properties, parks, farms, and orchards who are interested in donating their fruit. We’ll help you identify a property and a time that works for you to harvest. You just need to bring some equipment (which we’ll give you), register any people joining you and help them get started, and harvest as much fruit as possible!

You will need to be comfortable lifting boxes weighing 20 pounds. You’ll also need reliable access to a vehicle to transport harvesting equipment and deliver the produce to a local hunger relief agency. Food Forward provides liability insurance for the event.

When: Extremely flexible! You can let us know what days and times you prefer to volunteer, but we ask Pick Leaders to commit to volunteering at 6 harvest events over the course of a year or less. Of course, if you’d like to volunteer more, we’d be thrilled. Harvest events take 2-3 hours in total, including setting up before and wrapping up after.

Where: We harvest fruit (and some veggies too) all across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, although we need Pick Leaders in Ventura specifically.

Why: We often have more fruit-filled properties than we are able to harvest. Without more Pick Leaders, that fruit will go to waste! A Pick Leader and a few other volunteers will harvest hundreds of pounds of food to donate at an average harvest event.

Joining our Event Leader community also connects you with folks from all walks of life who are passionate about food access, food waste, sustainability, and the outdoors. You’ll have a regular opportunity to make a big impact, and you’ll get to meet some great people and trees along the way.

How: We'll have you check out a harvest with a trained Pick Leader. If you love it, we'll get you through the rest of our training and paperwork process! A background check (free to you) is required.

***Email volunteer@foodforward.org to let us know you're interested!***

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About Food Forward


7412 Fulton Ave. #3, North Hollywood, CA 91605, US

Mission Statement

Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.


Food Forward’s mission is to fight hunger and prevent food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need and inspiring others to do the same. We rescue fruits and vegetables from backyard fruit trees, orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. In the last 9 years, Food Forward’s programs have rescued over 50 million pounds (more than 200 million servings) of fresh produce, preventing nearly 19,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent from polluting the atmosphere. With a small staff, hundreds of community partners, and the power of 7,000+ volunteers, we will help over 1.75 million Southern Californians experiencing food insecurity this year.


Community, Environment, Hunger


We'll work with your schedule.


Multiple locations Ventura, CA 93003




  • People 55+


  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Harvests are 2-3 hours total. We ask that Pick Leaders are able to lead 6 or more events over the course of a year.

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