Monday, April 13, 2009

The Lemon Lady

A little while ago, we got an email from a woman who calls herself: "Anna The Lemon Lady". She didn't always carry that fancy title, though. Until not too long ago, she was just regular Anna Chan, from Clayton. It was on her walks with her daughter, Ava, that Anna first realized many of her neighbors had fruit trees with excess fruit that would just rot on their lawns. She got the idea of collecting this fruit, and taking it to her local food bank, which was much appreciated.

In the past couple of months, what started as a novel idea became a sort of calling for Anna, and now she is recruiting volunteers and fruit tree owners to join her efforts. This is a section of the email that she sent us, so you can hear her story in her own words:

(photo obtained under Creative Commons from Flickr user Alasam)

This fruit picking project can really be done by anyone. I embarked on this idea by typing fliers and knocking on doors. As I write this, I have collected nearly 3,000 pounds of fresh citrus in my own neighborhood. As you are aware, with the poor economy, many people are turning more to the charity organizations. Fresh produce is scarce at food pantries. All fresh fruit and vegetables are welcome. The food banks even advertise as such on their websites. Sadly, it is just lack of awareness that prevents people from taking the initiative to donate. Most people I speak with are more than willing to help out. They just have never thought to donate.

Spreading public awareness that fresh fruit is accepted, very easy to donate, no red tape, can help hundreds, thousands of needy families. The need is never ending, and the fresh fruit bounty in California is all year long! My only dream is to inspire others, and hopefully harvest most of the fruit from the trees, rather than seeing it go to waste.

If I - only one person - could collect 3,000 pounds in just over a month, imagine what many willing volunteers could do!? Anything is possible. I believe.

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