NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Four years ago at the Hollygrove Market, a seed was planted. "We had a few people call in with fruit trees and excess fruit and they were just looking for some help and I got some friends together and we started just picking the fruit and the first citrus season we picked three-thousand pounds of fruit," says Megan Nuismer Executive Director of New Orleans Fruit Tree Project.
Now, the New Orleans Fruit Tree Project is a full-grown non-profit organization. You register your tree and a group of volunteers will harvest it for you, the fresh produce is then donated to those in need.
"We actually just this week started working with Eden House which I believe is transitional housing for women. We work with the Tulane Community Health Center which leaves our fruit out in the waiting room for patients to enjoy while they're waiting to see the doctor or bring home to their family and we also donate to Second Harvest Food Bank," says Nuismer.
Trees are only harvested upon request and the owners are welcome to part of the harvest or they can donate it all. "For us it's an opportunity and it gives homeowners the chance to be a part of this giving that they can do in a different way, you know instead of writing a check, or you know doing a food drive which are great things to do to help hunger in our community but this is just another way to get involved with something that's growing right in your own backyard."
It's a gift that keeps giving, to everyone involved in the process. "I think the volunteers always make a big impact on the homeowners and the homeowners make a big impact on the volunteers you know it's someone that took the time out of their day and noticed that they had a lot of fruit took the steps to get in touch with us and arrange a harvest so there's just a lot of great connections that are made."
To register your tree or volunteer with the New Orleans Fruit Tree Project, visit their website.