Whether you’re growing it yourself, or have seen neighborhood trees heavy with fruit, you’ll know that there is a great deal of fresh, locally grown produce out there that goes uneaten. In our communities, many owners are too busy or physically unable to harvest, while others simply have more than they can possibly eat or give away.

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That’s why the nonprofit Alameda Backyard Growers started Project Pick, a gleaning initiative in the City of Alameda. “Our mission is to save surplus backyard fruit from going to waste and instead get it to folks who appreciate it,” explains project coordinator Jill Saxty.

It sounds simple but involves a lot: finding and reaching out to fruit tree owners in need of harvesting help, recruiting and training volunteers to help do the gleaning, and coordinating with the Alameda Food Bank who distributes the fresh fruit to the families they serve.

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