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ProduceGood gives back to those who are food insecure

Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 20:34:59-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local nonprofit 'ProduceGood' recovers food from local growers and during this Season of Hope, they are giving to those who are food insecure.

Tree by tree and row by row, roughly 10 volunteers with ProduceGood gleaned 300 golden mandarins on Wednesday, which equates to roughly 500 lbs of food.

“We are bringing gleaning into the 21st century," Nita Kurmins Gilson, the co-executive director of ProduceGood said.

“We are basically taking our clippers," Nita said. "And taking that right there," she said as she gathers a mandarin off the tree.

She helped start the nonprofit in 2010. They have now harvested excess food from roughly 500 different growers, and they are nearing a total collection of almost 1 million pounds of food.

“It’s a very hopeful thing that we are able to do this," Nita said. "Leverage this passion that people have with what the need is.”

The food they collect ranges from anything between apples to oranges. They have a collection roughly every day, gathering food from farms like Sarah Sleepers that is home to 180 trees. Sleeper has worked with the nonprofit for about five years, and since ABC 10News last spoke to her in July, she continues working with them.

“It’s such a shame that so much of our food goes into a landfill," Sleeper said. "So for us having our oranges go to people who need them it just feels great, it’s the best possible outcome.”

The food gets put into bags, and then loaded onto trucks. The trucks then get taken to distribution centers, one of which is Bayside Community Center.

According to ProduceGood, one in three San Diegans are food insecure, and 40% of food from growers is wasted.

This is why Sleeper said, this, is the perfect way to bridge the gap.

“We saw our oranges on lunch trays so it was a full circle," Sleeper said. "We are down there feeding people who need food and part of what is going on the tray is oranges from our grove.”

To learn more about ProduceGood's mission, visit their website.