Nita Kurmins Gilson, Founding Director, ProduceGood
On March 26, ProduceGood celebrated a million-pound milestone during their annual "Spring Gleaning" event at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. This small, but mighty food recovery nonprofit has diverted over one million pounds of edible produce from reaching landfills since it began its efforts in 2010. That’s 500 tons of produce donated by over 600 local farmers and growers with gleaning and collection provided by thousands of volunteers to benefit over 70 feeding partners in San Diego County. All to reduce food waste and hunger while building community.
“We are often not able to use all the citrus from our trees and
instead of letting it fall to the ground, Rancho Valencia partners
with ProduceGood to do our part to combat food waste and food
insecurity in the county,” says Simon Harris, Food & Beverage
Director at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. “As a luxury resort, in
the heart of San Diego, it is important for us to be able to give back
to the community.”
“Because the resort has partnered with us for the last three years
to recover citrus from the property to feed people, we felt that this
was the perfect place to celebrate our achievement on behalf of the
community we serve,” says Nita Kurmins Gilson, Co-Executive Director
With initial food recovery activities launched by Nita Kurmins Gilson in 2010 as CropSwap Carlsbad, Nita joined forces with mother/daughter team Jerilyn and Alexandra White to combine as ProduceGood in 2014. In eight short years, the nonprofit has become a vital part of San Diego’s food recovery system, using their decentralized model to prevent massive food waste and to empower communities to feed themselves.
“Forty percent of all food is wasted, while 1 in 3 San Diegans struggles with food insecurity, a number that has doubled since 2020,” says Alexandra White, Co-Executive Director of ProduceGood. “We glean the excess produce and provide direct access to these nutritious fruits and veggies that would otherwise go to waste, to those who need it most.”
According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, as of November 2021, more than one million people in San Diego County are facing hunger, including over 284,000 children. ProduceGood has provided over 3 million servings of fresh produce to these individuals.
Join their Community Orchard of volunteers who rescue tons of whole fruits and vegetables 52 weeks a year, for those who need it most. At the market, in the orchard or on the farm, their outdoor locales are sure to bring a smile to your face. Volunteers commit to only one event at a time, register and sign a waiver online, and show up as promised to help get the job done.
ABOUT PRODUCE GOOD
ProduceGood is a non-profit founded in 2014 by Nita Kurmins Gilson, Alexandra White and Jerilyn White, three local women looking to reduce waste and hunger by connecting surplus produce to food insecurity in San Diego County. To accomplish this work, they engage local volunteers to harvest excess produce in backyards, on farms and at farmers markets to benefit over 70 local feeding partners who serve food-insecure individuals in our county. Their mission is to build an informed and engaged community committed to finding sustainable solutions to alleviate hunger, reclaim and repurpose waste and promote the health and well-being of all. To learn more, please visit producegood.org.