Our nonprofit agency partners have taught us the beauty of what our food donations can do: it fills the hearts and minds of people who are facing some of their darkest hours and most challenging times. This is through the comfort of knowing that someone cares about them. Join and support us as we champion for change. Here’s what we we've been up to.
Our last four years of impact has orchestrated more than 175,000 rescued meals or approximately $800,000 in savings for nonprofit agencies.
Through a partnership with Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School MBA-E2B Program for 2017, Urban Harvester has been selected to be a case project in their 16 week spring semester.
Costco Wholesalers and Urban Harvester just completed a four-year pilot program using a Los Angeles area store as the model. Together we fed many thousands of people, reduced waste and changed lives. The system ran efficiently seven days a week within the construct of their existing operation.
Our initiative with Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV) conducted an in-depth look at poverty and hunger in select counties within the region over 16 months. In December, we presented our findings and recommendations for a regional framework based on our site visits, data research & analysis.
An in-kind donation from Santa Clara University’s Frugal Innovation Hub transitioned our software designs from paper to our digital, testing prototype.
Founder of Urban Harvester, Linda Hess, was honored to receive the 2016 Congressional Woman of the Year Award from Congresswoman Judy Chu, representing the city of South Pasadena.
We hosted a Night of Comedy Event fundraiser at the Ice House in Pasadena over the summer, where Congresswoman Chu welcomed guests and kicked off the show.
Over 2016, we participated with students and groups representing CAL State LA, Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, Notre Dame De Namur in Belmont, The Santa Clara Food Rescue Forum, WISPPA and Burbank Green Alliance, who all presented educational forums and framed us as a model in their group projects.
At the 2016 California Environmental Health Directors State Conference, founder Linda Hess was a panelist and presenter on the landscape of food rescue and redistribution. This summer Linda has been invited to speak at the national conference N.E.H.A. (https://www.neha.org/news-events/community-calendar/neha-2017-aec-grand-rapids) on food recovery and collaborative efforts. She will be presenting with Freddie Agyin, LA County Environmental Health Services Manager and Bernadet Garcia-Silva, Project Manager – LACFRI the LA County Food Redistribution Initiative.
As we head into spring of 2017 we are expanding our collaborations, partnerships and technological advancements. With your financial support we can continue bringing together willing food donors, communities in need, supportive policy and our partner non-profit agencies who provide healthy food access to children, working families, older adults, veterans and our homeless population. If hunger exists then food wasted is a travesty. This is a call to action. I hope you’ll join us with your support.
From all of us at Urban Harvester, we wish you peace and good health.
Founder, Executive Director
Our Northern California Program Intern, Romina, can tell you all about future options for transport. In October, she attended a drone conference co-sponsored by the Tesla Foundation. Romina shared, “What is promising is that in the near future, regulations for drone flying may allow Urban Harvester to use drones to facilitate the transportation of food.” We found it encouraging to find that other industries are recognizing the virtues of these practical applications as technology continues to evolve.
FRANK FARRAR Director of Communications Frank Farrar climbed into Urban Harvester just about a year ago and has learned about us, how we can effectively communicate the challenges we face and the wide variety of opportunities presented to us. We are so thankful to Frank for his time and talent as a gifted writer and editor. Frank was on staff for many years with the L.A. Times, has written for various magazines and journals and works independently doing public relations and strategic marketing, presentations and business proposals for Fortune 500 companies. He is extremely humble and would never tell you that he even shared in a Pulitzer Prize while at The Times, so that’s why we’re saying it here. We are honored that he is part of our volunteer team.
JOAN HARVEY Joan is an Urban Harvester volunteer who helps transport food, delivering agencies breakfast with a smile. Joan told us, “There’s no better feeling than to see fresh food handed directly to the folks while I’m still there and how happy it makes them feel.” Each day, 650,000 meals are prepared in the Los Angeles Unified School District. At Joan’s nearby elementary school, she sees an average of 75 to 100 breakfast items declined daily. As a volunteer to several San Fernando Valley food pantries and soup kitchens, Joan’s daily run shares the donations immediately. She and her son (seven-years-old and a volunteer-in-training) help us save the food from commercial food photo shoots.
VAN GOTTEL Meet our friend Van Gottel, the recently retired Founder and CEO of the national nonprofit, Socialserve.com. In 2013 we learned about his successful approach of electronically matching housing to those in need through social service agencies, Socialserve, started in 1999, now serves 36 states and L.A. County!