Community Fruit Rescue harvests and distributes the surplus urban fruit growing throughout Boulder, Colorado to reduce food waste, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, better coexist with local wildlife, build resilient communities, and increase equitable access to healthy, local food.
We envision a strong, collaborative, healthy, resilient, and just community in which everyone has access to healthy, local food, humans and wildlife coexist, and waste is minimized.
Since our inception in 2014 we have:
- Harvested more than 94,000 pounds of fruit
- Organized over 430 harvests
- Engaged more than 960 volunteers who have contributed thousands of hours of work
Where does the fruit go?
As per our model, a third is offered to the volunteer harvesters and a third is offered to the tree owners (although they often donate most of their share) and at least a third comes to us at CFR and is donated to places like Community Food Share, Fresh Food Connect, Growing Gardens kid’s nutrition classes, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) walk and bike to school days, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Damaged fruit goes to feed pigs, goats, and horses at local farms as well as the rescued bears at places like the Wild Animal Sanctuary. We also partner with local businesses to process the leftover fruit into shelf-stable, value-added products like cider, sauces and jams, dried fruit snacks, and chutneys.
Experience a CFR harvest in less than two minutes!
Many thanks to CFR volunteer Camden Aguilar for creating this video!
Our Community Impact
Community Food Share
"At Community Food Share, we’re more than a food bank — we’re a neighbor and a friend who’s been part of the fabric of Boulder and Broomfield Counties for decades. We know that ending hunger in our communities requires collaboration. That’s why we greatly appreciate our partnership with Community Fruit Rescue as they provide Community Food Share with a bounty of just-picked apples and pears, that our participants love. With over 10,500 lbs of fruit already donated to our food bank and our local Partner Agencies this year, Community Fruit Rescue is committed to fighting against food insecurity for years to come." Photo © Caroline Colvin.
Wild Animal Sanctuary
While the majority of Community Fruit Rescue's harvested fruit is donated to humans in need, some of our other fruit recipients are much...furrier. Along with many other species, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO houses approximately 117 Black Bears and over 83 Grizzly Bears that were rescued from illegal or abusive situations. And they require a lot of food and care! At each of our harvests, our team saves as much of the fruit as possible to prevent it from ending up in the landfill. Fruit that is slightly damaged or unripe is donated to the Wild Animal Sanctuary's bears, and we're pleased to report that we've donated more than 2,300 lbs of fruit this year! We’re also proud that our harvests remove a critical food attractant for Boulder's wild black bears, and instead support these rescue bears in Keenesburg.
Heather, Boulder Tree Owner
Earlier this season, Heather reached out to Community Fruit Rescue about a bear trying to access her trash and compost bins at her Newlands area home. Thankfully her bear-resistant bins held their own and the bear was unsuccessful, but Heather wanted to take further action to discourage the bear from coming back. CFR worked with Heather to schedule a harvest ASAP and our volunteers harvested over 80 lbs of apples from her tree that were then donated to people in need. Better yet, Heather and her family now have one less reason for bears to visit her property. Thank you, Heather, for taking action to protect Boulder's bears!
In 2014, Community Fruit Rescue was formed by a coalition of 350 Colorado, Boulder Bear Coalition, Boulder Food Rescue and FallingFruit.org. While each group had a slightly different purpose for investing in CFR, the overlapping goal was to harvest and distribute the surplus urban fruit growing throughout the Boulder region to reduce food waste, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, protect wildlife, build resilient communities, and direct fresh food to people who need it. Today, Community Fruit Rescue continues as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.