People Who Move Us: Rick Nahmias – The Founder Of Food Forward

Did you know that 40% of food in the United States is wasted? With so much waste it seems almost impossible to imagine that 1 in 6 individuals still lacks adequate access to food. What is even more surprising is that here in Los Angeles approximately 1.4 million people live with food insecurity. Rick Nahmias has found a simple solution to this disparity by connecting surplus produce to those suffering from food insecurity in Southern California. He founded a non-profit organization called Food Forward to tackle this task.

Rick Nahmias Food ForwardIn January of 2009, Food Forward was just a tiny seed of an idea in Rick Nahmias’ heart. As a local resident of Southern California, Rick saw much of the fruit on his own neighborhood trees go to waste every year. Along with some friends and volunteers, Rick harvested unwanted fruit started gleaning unwanted produce from his own backyard and from his neighbors’ fruit trees, then drove the produce directly to local food banks. Realizing the potential of wasted produce in all of Southern California, his efforts eventually blossomed into a large scale harvest that consists of three produce recovery programs.

Photo via Food Forward Facebook
Photo via Food Forward Facebook

In the last 8 years, Food Forward has rescued over 40 million pounds (over 140 million servings) of fresh local produce from backyards, farmer’s markets and the Wholesale Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles. wholesale produce markets. Working with hunger relief agencies across eight counties in Southern California, the recovered produce reaches 100,000 people every month. The hundreds of community volunteers at who participate in 160 monthly events experience a tangible way to give back to the community while helping the environment.

Rick Nahmias and Food Forward have taken the well known saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” to a whole other level. By taking his “lemons” to those in need, he is making a difference in our community. This fall as you see your backyard ripe with fruit, make a difference and pass them forward.

Photo by Food Forward Facebook
Photo via Food Forward Facebook

How to get involved:

Donate to fight hunger and food waste.

Volunteer and find a food recovery event near you.

Spread the word, share this post and Food Forward events.