A big part of my job is reaching out to a large audience with fruit trees and let them know that there is an option to donate their fruit to food banks. The best way to reach a large audience quickly is through newspapers. So, this week I devoted my time to reaching out to newspapers and news outlets. I came across Pomona Proud, a small community oriented newspaper that writes about local current events. After I contacted them about potentially running a story about Food Forward in their column, they invited me into their studio to interview me. I was asked to give the history of Food Forward and what my goals for this summer were in regards to fighting urban hunger in Pomona. Martha, the interviewer, asked me a few specific questions and then thanked me for my time. I was excited by the prospects of having Food Forward published in a newspaper in the East San Gabriel Valley and within two days we were featured on the “breaking news” section of Pomona Proud. This marks another step closer to a successful expansion into Pomona. Two other news group reached out to us, La Nueva Voz (Spanish-English community Newspaper) and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (covers the whole San Gabriel Valley) looking to run stories on us. The amount of press that we are getting is remarkable and I hope that the excitement of Food Forward continues!
First off Happy Fourth of July and congratulations to our Women for winning the Women’s World Cup in Canada! It is an exciting time in America. Often times we focus on the bad in our country, divided on the basis of political ideology, racial divides, low-income families struggling to keep up with the rest of the country. But we really are a great country, where an idea can turn into a business, a man can end slavery, and a nation can send a man to the moon. At Food Forward, our goal is to fight urban hunger and if you look at the numbers, Los Angeles looks like it’s a lost cause. It’s the only city with a Skid Row left, it is home to 254,000 homeless people throughout the year (84,000 any given night), and one in six adults and one in four children in LA County are food insecure. But Food Forward never focused on the bad, rather the change that is happening with our work. I was talking to Rachael about what to tell newspapers and those that ask me questions, and she said “Acknowledge the problem but focus on our efforts to fix them.” The whole work experience is positive from the time that the fruit is picked until it lands in the hands of someone who needs it. I am optimistic that the leaders of Los Angeles will find a solution for the homelessness problem.
In Other News:
After our Altadena flyering campaign I decided to run my own trial in Pomona. What we do is walk around the neighborhood and when we see a fruit tree we put a flyer detailing Food Forward’s goal on the homeowner’s front porch. I grabbed my brother and my sister and we took to the streets of Pomona. It was a hot 92 degrees and after an hour and fifteen minutes I started to hear the sound of an ice cream truck. I had not seen one since I was a child. I felt like it was the sort of mirage/hallucination that desert dwellers get when they are dehydrated. Then it turned the corner and I was jumping up and down waving him down only to find I didn’t have any money. It was the biggest disappointment of my whole internship so far. I finished my route and met up with the siblings at the car. Hopefully homeowners are receptive to the message and decide to call our organization to donate.