For people whose fruit trees produce more fruit than they know what to do with, a Richmond not-for-profit has a solution that benefits the whole community.
The Urban Bounty, formerly known as the Richmond Food Security Society, is kicking off this summer season by rebooting their annual Fruit Recovery Program.
The Urban Bounty will send out a group of trained volunteers to pick up the unused fruit and transport it to the Richmond Food Bank and other community partners, according to Sarina Clay Smith, program manager of The Urban Bounty.
Smith told the Richmond News at just one of their picks two weeks ago they collected 160 Ibs of strawberries from a local farmer, and they are still looking to expand their reach this year.
In 2018 and 2019, collected almost 12,000 Ibs of fruit and they donated more than 9,000 Ibs of fresh fruit last year. Otherwise, these foods might have gone to waste, noted Smith.
Meanwhile, people who are interested in being fruit pickers are also welcome to join. Smith said their youngest volunteer is only 15, while their most senior volunteer is 85.
The Urban Bounty has collaborated with Success’s Richmond office to introduce some new immigrants to the volunteer family.
For Smith, volunteering isn’t just about helping others, it’s also about strengthening ties to the community and broaden one’s support network.
“The program is open to anybody and we have a lot of new immigrants working with us. So there are a lot of friendships formed out of the program; people can share stories and find out what’s going on in Richmond from other volunteers,” said Smith.
For information about becoming a volunteer or donating crops, visit https://www.richmondfoodsecurity.org/programs/richmond-fruit-recovery-program/.