Harvest Forecast: Tons of Fresh Fruit in Inglewood

Harvest Forecast: Tons of Fresh Fruit in Inglewood
TreePeople works with Community Partners to Distribute Free Fruit Trees

INGLEWOOD, CA - On Saturday, January 28, 2012 two organizations are joining forces to distribute 1,000 free fruit trees to 1,000 residents of Inglewood, training them to green their neighborhoods and eventually produce tons of their own fresh fruit. Considered a “food desert” because of the scarcity of places to purchase healthy food, especially produce, Inglewood residents experience the related consequences of obesity and diabetes. With the planting of one thousand more apple, apricot, nectarine, peach and plum trees, this desert is beginning to bloom.

Making all of Los Angeles healthier by inspiring and supporting people to plant trees and make their neighborhoods more sustainable is the aim of TreePeople, a non-profit organization that has distributed over 100,000 free fruit trees in underserved communities since 1985. This year, thanks to sponsorships from PaperMax, Southern California Edison, Kaiser Permanente, and Dave Wilson Nursery, TreePeople was able to obtain 2,000 bare root ready-to-plant trees to distribute through organizations in South Los Angeles. In Inglewood, TreePeople urban forestry staff will be on hand to train people to properly plant and care for the trees so they produce hundreds of pounds of delicious fresh fruit over their lifetime.

The event is part of a growing partnership between TreePeople and Social Justice Learning Institute which is working with the Inglewood Unified School District in a “100 Seeds of Change” food system initiative. The trees will be distributed to 1,000 pre-registered families from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Morningside High School in Inglewood.

This public, festive event will offer healthy food, tree care and other workshops, and opportunities to help out in the Empowerment Community Garden across the street.

This is the second year of this partnership, which to date brings a total of 1,700 new trees taking root in the city of Inglewood and South Los Angeles: greening and beautifying streets and yards, cleaning the air and water, and enabling residents to feed themselves and others with abundant fresh fruit.

About TreePeople:

  • In its 39-year history, TreePeople’s work has resulted in the planting of more than two million trees throughout Southern California, and the ongoing care of thousands of trees every year.
  • The mission of TreePeople is to inspire, engage and support the people of Los Angeles to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable, and to share the process as a model for the world.

About Social Justice Learning Initiative:

  • Currently serves 2500 students and community members through its community garden and food justice efforts.
  • Students and community members are taking food home, harvesting in gardens, creating and participating in events. Student efforts help feed families in need throughout the year.
  • Launched the 100 Seeds of Change initiative intended to create 100 gardens in Inglewood and the South Bay community.
  • Offers workshops, info sessions and trainings for the broader community to engage in gardening, healthy eating and an active living lifestyle.

About the Empowerment Community Garden:

  • Inglewood’s first community garden, the Empowerment Community Garden was launched by young men from the Black Male Youth Academy (BMYA) who's goals were to beautify the community, become civic leaders and build sustainable growth of organic foods in Inglewood, California.
  • The organic garden teaches youth about food and its origin while giving them the chance to learn how to plant, cultivate, and harvest their crops. By working with youth, local community members and city officials, we hope to expand our capacity and impact on City by providing fresh fruits and vegetables for local residents.

For more information on SJLI and the Empowerment Garden, visit http://www.sjli-cp.org/content/welcome