When staff at the Napa Farmers Market asked CanDo to help rescue produce that might otherwise go to waste, we eagerly accepted. At every Saturday Farmers Market, you’ll find our volunteers in bright yellow CanDo safety vests collecting fresh produce donated by the Market’s generous vendors and shoppers. CanDo volunteers, with the help of Dave Busby of Feeding it Forward Napa Valley, gather and transport it to our hungry neighbors. What better way to spend one hour on a Saturday?
One thing volunteers appreciate about working with CanDo’s Food Rescue Team is that they do so much good in such a short time — the time commitment is just 50 minutes! Can you join us at Napa’s fabulous Farmers Markets on any Saturday, 11:40-12:30, to collect fresh produce? That’s all it takes to help ease food insecurity in the Napa Valley.
The amount of produce rescued has grown every year since we started. How about some stats?
• Year one, 2016 (last 6 months only): 3,018 pounds of produce donated
• Year six, 2021: 13,649 pounds of produce donated
• Total pounds of produce rescued and donated (2016-2021): 40,277
WHAT WE DO
• Every Saturday year-round, Napa Valley CanDo’s Food Rescue Team volunteers collect produce that might otherwise go to waste. This is donated by our generous Farmers Market vendors.
• The “rescued” food goes to the Napa Food Bank and to other local pantries that help ease food insecurity in Napa County. The donations are delivered by Dave Busby of Feeding It Forward.
• The Napa Farmers Market is located in the City of Napa parking lot at 1100 West Street in downtown Napa (intersection of Pearl and West). The market is open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
HOW IT WORKS
• 11:40 Meet us on West Street, a cul de sac at the west boundary of the Farmers Market next to the parking lot. The Lead Volunteer will park there with all the supplies.
• 11:45 Distribute bins to participating vendors. Around this time, Dave Busby of Feeding It Forward arrives.
• 12:00ish We start collecting and weighing the full bins, then transfer them to Dave’s refrigerated truck.
• 12:30ish: We’re done! Dave takes off to deliver the food to various distribution points throughout the valley: the Food Bank, the homeless shelter, farmworker housing sites, and more.
WHAT YOU NEED
• We’ll ask you to sign a waiver the first time you volunteer with us.
• During the summer, bring a reusable water bottle and a hat. It can be hot.
• Please wear shoes with closed toes.