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Photos: In LA, fresh produce bound for trash helps feed the poor

Updated: Jul 30, 2018 10:19 IST

Delighted to take home food that others would discard, people look eagerly over the bounty of fresh produce spread out before them. On this particular day, a non-governmental organization called Food Forward and a community center distributed 6,800 kilos of fruit and vegetables that wholesalers would otherwise have thrown out. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

Every week the organisation collects some 353,000 pounds of surplus produce from people’s fruit trees, farmers’ markets and LA’s Wholesale Produce Market. It then donates the food to hundreds of organizations that help the needy throughout southern California. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

According to a study by the National Resources Defense Council has estimated that each American chucks out an average of more than 400 pounds of food per year. “With a program like this, where people can actually understand the two-sided connection of food waste and hunger, you start to see some change,” said Rick Nahmias, the NGO’s founder. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

This particular twice-monthly handout is held in a warehouse in Watts, one of the poorest and roughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where most residents are black or Latino. “They can have two or more bags, and they fill up, and there is no restrictions,” said Sheila Thomas, who works for the community center allied with Food Forward at this warehouse. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

The spread at the center looks like any other market, with everything neatly organized.“I like all of it, all of it. The grapes, the onions,” said Mendoza as she waited to fill her bags up. When its time for the customers to choose, they nervously use both hands as they try to stuff as much as they can in bags, as if they were participating in a TV game show race against the clock. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

Paula Ramirez pushes her cart full of free fruit and vegetables on offer at a twice monthly food distribution effort . “This food is so good. I don’t understand why they were going to throw it away,” said Ramirez. She saves a lot of money thanks to this charity, and she needs to: her husband uses a wheelchair and they get by on a small pension. “He doesn’t work and neither do I,” she said. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

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