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Help sought to pick excess citrus for struggling families
A volunteer helped pick citrus last year from Manteca yards. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Volunteers are needed to make sure citrus that otherwise would rot can be picked to provide oranges and grapefruit to help feed struggling families.

2nd Saturday —  Crossroad Grace’s outreach ministry that brings people of all denominations together to serve the community — is trying to assemble additional teams to harvest ripening citrus from the yards of various homeowners.

The effort to glean citrus is set for Saturday, Feb. 8, at 9 a.m.   The actual harvesting is compressed in 3 hours. Typically, the effort generates nine to 10 tons of citrus that is distributed to food banks throughout the area.

Literally tons of unused citrus left on trees in residential yards goes to waste in Manteca each year. The citrus after being harvest by volunteers is delivered to food banks that distribute it to needy families and elderly seniors on limited income that can’t afford fresh citrus.

Citrus harvesting volunteers are being asked — if they can — to bring any hand towels or car wash towels that they can donate for the project to help clean the fruit. Also if individuals can supply ladders six-foot and over and pickup truck beds to use for the day it would be appreciated.

For those who are willing  to climb trees, it is suggested that they wear Levis, long sleeves or a sweatshirt since citrus trees do have thorns.

A briefing sheet and a release form can be found at under 2nd Saturday that can be taken with you when you arrive for the briefing on Saturday, Feb. 8, by 8:45 a.m. at the church on Moffat Boulevard between Woodward Avenue and Spreckels Avenue.

Teams will depart for work sites at 9 a.m. and will finish at noon or shortly thereafter.