departures-homepage.jpg

Beyond the Cut: Hidden Harvest Rescues Food, Feeds Families

This story was produced in partnership with Building Healthy Communities (BHC) in the Eastern Coachella Valley, an initiative of the California Endowment.

When you pick out fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, you probably make your selection based on how an item looks. By the time produce reaches your supermarket, it has already gone through a rigorous set of inspections and passed standards brokered by growers, suppliers, and grocery stores. Requirements are shaped by factors such as size, shape, and even color, to name a few. Produce that didn't make the cut often is left to rot, un-harvested in the fields, eventually ending up in landfills.

 

And though these fruits and vegetables are slightly discolored or irregular in shape or size, they are still perfectly nutritious and flavorful. An over-sized cauliflower or asymmetrical tomato can still help feed a family if it is rescued before growers dispose of them. This is a story about the commitment and creative thinking of Coachella Valley locals that are helping solve a community's hunger problem. For 14 years, Hidden Harvest has worked to intervene in the produce industry's supply chain to address waste and feed some of Coachella Valley's most vulnerable residents.