They Make it Happen: Summer Harvesters

[Left to right: Ezra, Liv, Rachel, Chloe, & Avery]

Meet City Fruit’s summer Harvest Team!  Our harvesters play a critical role in helping us glean as much fruit as possible in an attempt to reduce food waste, and share fruit equitably with all members of our community. City Fruit is also committed to building a sustainable path to employment in areas of food and environmental justice. By partnering with area internship programs to support our harvest operations, we are able to introduce high school and college students to communities of like-minded individuals and the potential roles that exist in conservation and our sustainable food system. 

City Fruit has been part of Harvest Against Hunger’s (HAH) AmeriCorps VISTA program since 2013.  This AmeriCorps position is in partnership with HAH, which connects local growers, food banks, and volunteers to secure fresh produce for distribution to thousands of people throughout Washington State. The Harvest VISTA program finds innovative ways to decrease waste of fresh produce and increase the availability of nutrients for food bank clients. The Summer Associate program places Americorps members with host sites work in an intensive level of summer service for 10 weeks.

This summer, two VISTA AmeriCorps members are serving with City Fruit as our 2023 Harvest and Distribution Summer Associates.  Liv was born and raised in Los Angeles, and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at UW with a Climate Science minor. [Need to ask Liv favorite fruit!]Avery is majoring in Environmental Studies at UW, and possesses a great passion for sustainability and agriculture.  Her favorite fruits are mangoes and yellow plums! 

In addition to HAH’s Americorps program, we partner with the Teens in Public Service (TIPS) program. Young adults can apply to participate as harvesters and learn how to become a local urban food leader as part of the Great Seattle Fruit Harvest. 

Chloe is our current TIPS harvester. Born and raised in Seattle, Chloe is looking forward to learning more about fruiting trees and horticulture.  Her favorite fruits are watermelon, honeycrisp apples, and peaches.

The University of Washington’s College of the Environment allows us to partner with UW undergraduates looking for service-learning in the fields of urban agriculture, environmental education, and food systems. Interns are generally seniors who are completing research for their capstone project to graduate. Several of these interns have gone on to become seasonal associates and full-time staff, such as City Fruit’s current Programs and Special Projects Coordinator, Riley Wilmart, and our full-time seasonal harvester Ozi Goldstein.  Ezra and Rachel are this year’s UW summer interns.

Ezra was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, and is currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies, with a focus on ecological restoration and preservation.  Her capstone project is researching fruit preservation methods. Her favorite fruits are raspberries, blackberries, figs, and cotton candy grapes!

Rachel is from Spokane, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Urban Ecological Design. Her capstone focuses on the intersection between supporting pollinators and gleaning activities.  Her favorite fruits are raspberries and grapes!

We are thrilled to be joined by such a wonderful crew of harvest interns this summer, and hope that you can meet them at a future harvest event or Fruit-for-All. To learn more about any of these programs or to connect your own students with our work in future intern seasons, please reach out to info@cityfruit.org.