Baton Rouge Green is providing a way for residents with prolific citrus trees to share excess fruit with their neighbors in need.
City Citrus Pick participants can register their trees at BatonRougeGreen.com. Baton Rouge Green will train, equip and deploy volunteers on Dec. 8 to carefully harvest the fruit. The fruit, grown and harvested entirely by volunteers, is taken directly to The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, where it is distributed to families in need throughout southeast Louisiana.
“We know that hundreds of young citrus trees were unfortunately lost in last winter’s freeze, but there are still hundreds of established trees producing fruit that won't be entirely consumed by residents," City Citrus program manager Christopher Cooper said, according to a news release. "We hate to see this healthy, fresh food source go to waste. Our volunteers are trained not to damage the trees or the (owner's) property. We just want our community to be good stewards of these valuable resources."
During the 2017 City Citrus Pick, volunteers harvested and delivered more than 2,500 pounds of fresh citrus fruit to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. In past years, as much as 6,500 pounds were harvested.
“Pickers," or volunteer harvesters, are also needed and can register at BatonRougeGreen.com. Kids are welcome to join their parents or guardians for a family-friendly day of service.