Do You Fruitcycle?

Maui’s tree gleaning group Waste Not, Want Not combines two of my favorite things: Hawaii and food recovery.

The group began gleaning four weeks ago and their efforts have been, dare I say, fruitful. A recent outing of just five volunteers netted 153 pounds of citrus. Another yielded 360 pounds, or about one pickup truck’s worth.

Waste Not stemmed from co-founder Suzanne Freitas’ backyard. She and her brother began picking oranges, tangerines and lemons and bringing them to a senior center. Their recipients’ smiles sparked Freitas and her brother James Mylenek to form an honest-to-goodness “fruitcycling” operation (their term, not mine).

Now, as this really cool tree gleaning photo shows, Waste Not is starting to take root, just like the Portland Fruit Tree Project, San Jose’s Village Harvest and others.

“Wasting large amounts of food is no longer acceptable, and so it’s time to act. The fruit is ready and waiting, let’s cycle it,” Freitas said.

True enough. I’m wondering: why was it ever acceptable to let food go for naught?

Waste Not, Want Not is looking for more donors. This is kind of long shot, but…if you’re lucky enough to live in Maui and have fruit trees, give them a call.

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