Whether it’s the lemon trees in your front yard or the satsuma trees in your backyard, this time of year finds homeowners struggling with all that fruit.
There are only so many jars of marmalade one person can make.
Baton Rouge Green’s City Citrus program would like to hear from tree owners who have an abundance of fruit this year that could be donated to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
The Food Bank is organizing a “volunteer harvest” on Saturday, when they will send volunteers to homes to harvest and load the fruit into their vehicles. The citrus will go to the Food Bank for distribution to its 11-parish service area and numerous partner agencies.
“Anytime you can get fresh citrus to serve to people, it’s a great thing,” said Mike Manning, president and CEO of the food bank.
Last year, just 13 volunteers picked 2,800 pounds of fresh fruit, said Amy Loe, communications coordinator for Baton Rouge Green. This year they’re hoping to get even more volunteers and tree owners to participate.
“We’d like to see it go to someone who will use it and not see fruit rotting on the ground,” she said.
Volunteers will meet Saturday morning at the Baton Rouge Green office downtown, where they will be given maps to the participating homes in the Baton Rouge area. Once the fruit is loaded into their vehicles, volunteers will deliver the citrus to the food bank.
Although it’s not required for a homeowner to be home, last year most not only came outside to offer moral support but also helped with the harvest, Loe said.
The harvest could be a little less plentiful this year, she said, because it appears the citrus harvest around town isn’t as abundant as it was last year.
“It’s hit or miss this year,” she said.
Every little bit helps, Manning said, especially this time of year when people need vitamin C as the cold season hits.
The Food Bank helps about 87,000 people a year, he said, with some people coming in just one time and others who need more consistent assistance.
After last year’s Baton Rouge Green event, he said, several people offered their citrus tree harvest.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.