On Thursday, June 22, twenty-seven Whole Foods Market stores will partner in support of Food Forward, a non-profit organization dedicated to harvesting food, fighting hunger, and building community across Southern California.

On this date, Whole Foods Market stores from west and central Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, the South Bay, and Pasadena will donate 5 percent of net sales to Food Forward.

Food Forward presents a simple solution to fighting hunger and food waste. Through a diverse network of backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market — and with the help of thousands of community volunteers — Food Forward recovers over 16 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year.

The collective impact of this Community Giving Day will be tremendous. Since it costs Food Forward an average of 9¢ per pound to divert fresh produce from the waste stream to one of its partner agencies, even small purchases will make a big difference. A purchase of $25 represents a donation of $1.25 to Food Forward — or nearly 14 pounds of nutritious produce that will serve our community’s most vulnerable populations.

The National Resource Defense Council estimates that 40% of the nation’s food is wasted “from farm to fork,” yet 1 in 6 Americans faces hunger. That ratio is even higher in Los Angeles County, where each of the 27 participating Whole Foods Markets operates. This Community Giving Day aims to engage the surrounding community in conversation about this critical issue, as well as to raise crucial funds in support of Food Forward’s work.

Representatives from Food Forward will be at the Downtown Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, East Pasadena, El Segundo, Thousand Oaks, and Long Beach stores from 11 am to 2:00 pm on June 22. Community members may also choose to donate fresh fruits and vegetables from their home gardens or fruit trees to “DIY Harvest Dropoffs” at these locations, hosted by Food Forward.

However, Whole Foods Market will collect proceeds from the full day of sales from each of the 27 stores.

The complete list of stores participating in the 5% Day includes: Arroyo Parkway, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Fairfax, Glendale, Long Beach, Montana, El Segundo, Pasadena, Playa Vista, Porter Ranch, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks East, Sherman Oaks West, Silver Lake, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Valencia, Venice, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Wilshire Boulevard, and Woodland Hills markets.

Whole Foods Market customers who are interested in supporting Food Forward’s work beyond the Community Giving Day are invited to volunteer at a community harvest or farmers market event, register their fruit trees with Food Forward’s backyard harvest program, or contribute online by visiting

Food Forward (501(c)(3)) rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. We collect fresh fruits and vegetables that would normally go to waste from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. 100% of the produce we recover is donated to hunger relief agencies across 8 counties in Southern California.

  • Submitted by Laura Jellum