Thousands of pounds of citrus donated to feed hungry residents
Oceanside CA— On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the City of Oceanside along with its partners ProduceGood, Oceanside Unified School District and Waste Management of North County collected more than 5,000 pounds of fresh citrus during its first neighborhood GleanUp Day. Gleaning is the practice of collecting excess fresh produce such as citrus from farms, gardens and backyards and distributing it to those in need. Throughout the day, volunteers gleaned citrus trees as well as cleaned, sorted and packed the citrus to be donated to Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank to feed hungry San Diego County residents.
“Five thousand pounds is about 15,000 fresh fruit servings to food insecure residents,” said Colleen Foster, Senior Management Analyst for the City of Oceanside. “All the collected citrus is from residential trees that were not harvested and would have gone to waste in the landfill.”
According to the National Resources Defense Council, up to 40 percent of all food produced in the United States intended for consumption is not eaten which equates to about 20 pounds of food per person. When people throw away their food it goes to the landfill where it rots and releases methane – a strong greenhouse gas. If food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the United States.
“We are proud that we were able to collect 5000 pounds of citrus and help are hungry neighbors,” added Foster. “I am hopeful that other cities will follow our lead and consider hosting a gleaning day too.”
For more information about the City of Oceanside’s environmental programs visit www.greenoceanside.org. Residents may also download the free Green Oceanside App and stay engaged with the Green Oceanside team by searching Green Oceanside in the Apple iStore or Google Play.