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Free Harvest Programs Crop Up

In January 2010, a group of neighbors in Salem, Ore., founded a nonprofit dedicated to providing fresh produce to food banks from private sources. By the end of a season that ran from July to November, the organization now known as Salem Harvest had rallied some 1,700 volunteers who picked 53,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables on local farms and delivered the produce to more than a dozen food programs. Volunteers also got to keep half their harvests.  Similar programs have cropped up across the country. Philadelphia Orchard Project volunteers have planted more than 200 fruit trees in 23 city orchards. And Neighborhoodfruit.com lists 10,000 registered fruit and nut trees nationwide and helps people locate trees closest to them. All fruit picked is free.

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