Picking Oranges with Purpose

  • Oranges gathered in picking basket poles

    Orange picking baskets make for easier gathering at the Orange Picking event on July 29. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Two children holding oranges

    Volunteers of all ages helped pick fruit to be donated to local food pantries. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • CSUN Sustainability cart parked in orange grove

    The event was organized by CSUN's Institute of Sustainability and Food Forward. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Volunteers stand throughout the Orange Grove

    About 150 volunteers gave time on a Saturday morning to gather fruit for local charities. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Photo of boxes in the orange grove

    More than 5,000 lbs. of oranges were gathered during the event. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Two women take a selfie

    Groups of friends and family volunteered together as a fun and fulfilling weekend activity. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Someone slices into an orange

    Volunteers tasted the fruit of their labor, sampling the delicious oranges from CSUN's Orange Grove. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Group of men's basketball players

    The CSUN Men's Basketball team was among the volunteers at the event. Photo by David J. Hawkins

  • Large group photo

    Volunteers came from the CSUN community and outside organizations. Photo by David J. Hawkins

California State University, Northridge students and community members came together at the campus’ historic Orange Grove on July 29 to pick oranges for a good cause. Throughout the morning, kids and adults alike retrieved fruit pickers and filled their boxes with Valencia oranges that would be donated to feed people in need.

For the past seven years, CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability and the local nonprofit Food Forward have teamed up to host this event. Thousands of oranges are donated every year because of this initiative. 

“We were able to pick about 5,000 pounds of oranges in just two hours,” said Kiana Lucero, Project Coordinator for the Institute for Sustainability. “It was a very successful day that helped donate a bunch of fruit to local food banks.”

About 130 people, including members from Wells Fargo, AVID and CSUN Men’s Basketball team, volunteered to collect oranges at the event. 

“We wanted to get involved with the community, especially before the season begins,” said Scott Sommer,  Director of Basketball Operations. “As far as community outreach, we are trying to get involved in anyway possible to make a larger impact on the players’ lives.”

To volunteer for the next scheduled Orange Grove harvest in April 2018 and other future events, sign up at https://foodforward.org/volunteer/sign-up-to-volunteer/