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Local Food: Our Program Initiatives

Fruits of the City LogoFruits of the City

Who we are
Fruits of the City captures fresh fruit that would otherwise go to waste and redistributes it to those in need. The program matches trained volunteer gleaners with registered fruit tree owners in the 7-county Twin Cities area. In 2014, over 500 volunteers assisted Fruits of the City in harvesting 67,000 pounds of fruit for 30+ local food shelves. Since 2009, we have partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to glean over 300,000 pounds of fruit from trees in local orchards and nearby backyards.

How to get involved
We are excited about the potential for growth, but need your help! Fruits of the City is currently looking for:

  • Volunteers to pick fruit at our gleaning events
  • Homeowners and Orchard Owners to donate unwanted fruit on their trees
  • Neighborhood coordinators to help organize the volunteers in designated neighborhoods
  • Donors to support our work financially

The gleaning season begins in mid-August and runs through late October. Neighborhood gleanings will be regularly held during Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, with additional dates and times to be added as the trees ripen.

To register now as a volunteer gleaner or tree owner, click here: VolunteerHub. Or contact us at or 651-789-3321.

Orchard gleanings
Fruits of the City partners with a growing number of local orchards each year. Last year our partnering orchard owners generously provided over 50,000 pounds of fresh fruit for those in need with the help of our dedicated volunteer groups. For information about additional orchard gleaning opportunities, visit VolunteerHub or contact us by email at

This is a great opportunity for business, churches, student groups and others to get involved with our work.

Fruit tree classes
To assist our partnering fruit tree owners with improving their yields and the quality of fruit they share with food shelves, we regularly offer a variety of fruit tree education class. Jeffrey Johnson, a horticulturalist at the University of Minnesota with 30 years of experience, will be teaching fruit tree care, pruning and training classes this spring, summer, and fall. We also have additional guest speakers covering new topics such as soils, bees and pollination, espalier fruit tree training, and yardscaping with fruit. Click here to learn more.

Fruit Tree Maintenance Guide
Fruits of the City provides a Fruit Tree Maintenance Guide to our partnering tree owners. This publication is full of helpful tips, best practices and useful resources for the home fruit tree owner or hobby orchardist. With contributions from local experts, the Fruit Tree Maintenance Guide covers a variety of topics including: watering, mulching, fruit ripeness, staking, training, pruning and common pests and diseases. The guide is available as a free digital download.

Fruits of the City is generously sponsored bySuperValu Logoand General Mills Logo

Photo of Luke, Jen and Annalisa
“We had a lovely time volunteering and hope to do it again!” 
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