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Portland nonprofit that distributes fruit to community in need of donations and volunteers

The Portland Fruit Tree Project has been providing vulnerable communities fresh fruit for 15 years.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Fruit Tree Project has been harvesting donated fruit to vulnerable communities for the past 15 years and the nonprofit is looking for donations and volunteers to help.

Volunteers go out and pick the fruit from homeowners who have fruit trees. Everything from apples to oranges, plums and cherries are harvested. Last year the organization gave out 11,000 pounds of fruit to people in need. The Portland Fruit Tree Project partners with several local organizations including the senior center. It takes a lot of volunteers and donors to keep the project going.

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Credit: Bryant Clerkley

"Membership is really important to us," said Executive Director Heather Keisler Fornes. "We rely on those reoccurring donors who are able to support us. Picking the fruit is wonderful but it's not tremendously efficient. It takes a lot of resources to make every harvest happen. Volunteers coming out is awesome, we've been really lucky and we see a lot of volunteers."

Credit: Bryant Clerkley

So far this year, Fornes said they've collected about 1,500 pounds of fruit and they expect to exceed that number.

Anyone who wants to volunteer or donate fruit from their trees can register on Portland Fruit Tree Project website. During the harvests, volunteers will pick the fruit and put it into buckets. 

The next harvest will be the Bartlett Pear harvest on Aug. 10 and then the Sabin Community Orchard on Aug. 15.