About the Program:
Through the Richmond Fruit Recovery Program, we coordinate volunteers to collect unused fruit called a pick, from residential fruit trees and bushes, and donate it to the Richmond Food Bank and other community partners.
In 2020 we expanded our outreach among communities in Richmond that allowed for the donation of more fruit to those in need. It was a resounding success thanks to all our wonderful volunteers and an amazing intern, Cathy. It was our biggest year yet with more than 9,020, lbs of fruit collected from July to October. In 2018 and 2019, we collected almost 12,000 lbs of fruit that otherwise might have gone to waste!
Through this program, we can supply fresh healthy food to Richmond residents and help reduce food waste. The harvest is split three ways between volunteers, fruit owners, and community partners.
The original Richmond Fruit Recovery Program was started in 2001 by a dedicated group of volunteers. The Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project eventually became The Sharing Farm, which now grows and donates thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables each year.
Benefits as a fruit gleaner include:
- Getting outside and exercising
- Meeting other friendly, like-minded persons
- Experiencing new parts of Richmond
And of course, getting some free organic fruit for all your hard work!
For fruit tree owners, the benefits include:
- Reducing food waste
- Providing much-needed fruit to those in need
- Clean and tidy trees
- Fruit picked for free!
COVID & Fruit Gleaning:
COVID has and may continue to pose challenges with the fruit gleaning program. We want to ensure that the health of our volunteers and that of the fruit tree owners comes first. We have introduced the following steps to make picks safer:
- Limiting group sizes (although we are outside, groups will be capped at 10)
- Sanitizing equipment before and after picks
- Providing gloves, volunteers are encouraged to bring gardening gloves if they like
- Provide thorough instructions and safety briefing
If you’d like to volunteer with the Fruit Recovery Program please visit our current volunteer opportunities page for more information.
If you are a fruit owner please fill out the form below to have your fruit added to our list of potential picks.
*Please contact us well before your fruit tree is ripe, we schedule picks ahead of time and would like to accommodate as many people as possible. If were are unable to set up a pick for you this year, we will still take your information for the next season.