This western Newfoundland group wants to rescue your fruit

A group in western Newfoundland wants to help rescue your fruit, before it hits the ground.

Humber Valley Fruit Rescue is a volunteer group that operates in conjunction with the Western Environment Centre. The group is dedicated to harvesting any unwanted or excess fruit from the trees and bushes that line yards around the Bay of Islands and Humber Valley, and distributing that produce for good use.

"The idea is: the homeowner can call us, and we'll come and harvest," says Becky Shea, project co-ordinator.

The harvested fruit gets divided up three ways, with equal portions going to the volunteers, the homeowner and local non-profits.

"So far we've been able to give some of our harvest to the Healthy Baby Club in Pasadena, we've shared with the over 50-plus group and some food banks," said Shea. 

"We also do sell some at the Wonderful Fine Market as a fundraiser for the Western Environment Centre."

Kody Gardner/CBC

Jason Whittle of Little Rapids, calling in the group was an easy choice.

By the time volunteers arrived to his property on Wednesday, he had already picked around 20 pounds of worth of apples, hardly a dent in the miniature orchard surrounding his home. 

With around half a dozen apple, pear and plum trees on his property, picking it all himself was out of the question.

"As much as I'm trying to pick it all and use it for jams and other things, I've got too many, and between myself my friends, it's not all getting used up," said Whittle.

"I think it's great. I think that wasting food is terrible, so this food can go to good use for other people. I think it's great."

Kody Gardner/CBC

For people who aren't necessarily acquainted with their neighbours, the fruit rescue group has also introduced a new initiative this year in an effort to raise awareness about their program: door hangers.

It's an idea they hope will be able to save even more fruit before it goes to waste.

"It's just another avenue to try and to reach the homeowners that have the fruit," said Shea.

"Unfortunately, we don't all hang out and know our neighbours very well. So if anyone's not necessarily comfortable saying 'hey, go check out this group,' we have these door hangers."

Anyone wishing to participate in the program, either as a volunteer or homeowner, can do so by getting in touch with Humber Valley Fruit Rescue on Facebook.

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