Super Citrus Saturday a Big Success – VIDEO and PHOTOS via myfoxphoenix.com

Super Citrus Saturday a Big Success

Food banks take fruit donations

Updated: Saturday, 22 Jan 2011, 9:40 PM MST
Published : Saturday, 22 Jan 2011, 9:09 PM MST

PHOENIX – In these tough times, food banks need all the donations they can get. Several valley food banks are now launching citrus drives to collect the fruit off of trees.

If you have any extra fruit on your citrus trees, you can drop that fruit off at a food bank, or volunteers will pick your citrus for $10 per tree.

On Saturday, St. Mary’s food bank collected 61,000 pounds of oranges and grapefruit.

Louis Gruttert doesn’t have citrus trees at home. But he still spent the day picking fruit off of trees in his Phoenix neighborhood.

“I go to different neighbors, and they’re happy for me to pick them,” Gruttert said. “It serves two purposes. They’re glad to get of rid of them. It gives me exercise, and it helps people where they’re going.”

Saturday’s drive was part of the food bank’s second annual Gleaning Program, which runs from January to March. Last year, St. Mary’s collected 20,000 pounds of citrus.

The food bank will be putting fruit collected into emergency food boxes and getting it out into the community beginning next week.

Any extra citrus will go to needy families in other states. In return, those other states will also share. Washington will give apples, Idaho will give potatoes and California, onions.

The Super Citrus Saturday drive was so successful that the food bank said it will hold another one in February.

Citrus can be dropped off at:
*North Phoenix Baptist Church at Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road
*Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ at 56th Street and Lafayette
*St. Mary’s Food Bank, Surprise (13050 W. Elm Street)

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