After our Cause Weekend with Food Forward, we are stoked to report that:

370+ pounds of fresh food was collected, and a grand total of $1002 was raised to support this amazing organization

A massive thank you to all who came to contribute, whether it was in the form of giving your garden goodies, or through shopping and donating proceeds with us.

Our Food Forward friends set up shop alongside us and spread so much awareness about the good work that they are doing, and how locals can continue to share their extra harvest of fresh, wholesome food to those most in need all year round.

Not sure what this was all about? Read on for more deets on this awesome event, and how Betty gives to causes that do their part in making our world a more beautiful, bountiful place…

Food Forward and Betty Belts invite community members to drop off their extra homegrown fruits and vegetables on June 15 and 16

On Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16 Betty Belts is hosting a Fruit Drive to benefit Food Forward. Food Forward is a nonprofit that fights hunger and food waste by collecting surplus fruits and vegetables and donating them to local hunger relief agencies. Over the past 10 years, Food Forward has recovered and donated over 75 million pounds of produce, and in 2019 will provide fresh, healthy food to 2 million food insecure people in Southern California.

To directly help people in Ventura County experiencing food insecurity, Betty Belts is opening their doors for fresh fruit and vegetable donations at their downtown store all weekend. Betty Belts is a Ventura-based company that creates handmade ocean inspired jewelry and accessories out of upcycled and sustainable materials. As a 1% for the Planet business member, Betty Belts supports nonprofits committed to creating a healthy planet through monetary donations and initiatives like the Food Forward Fruit Drive.

Customers and community members can bring abundant fresh fruits and vegetables from their backyard fruit trees and home gardens, and Food Forward will get this produce to people who would otherwise not have access to adequate nutritious food. Shopping at Betty Belts will also benefit Food Forward all weekend: 20% of the proceeds will go to support the organization’s food recovery and hunger relief work. Betty Belts owner, Donna Hoesslin, says “We are excited to involve community members in the mission of an organization that we’ve been supporting for a long time.”  

Those interested in participating can pick up empty boxes at Betty Belts from June 10 to 14 between their normal business hours of 11am-6pm,or pack produce in their own bags or boxes.. Fruits and vegetables should be dropped off at Betty Belts on Saturday or Sunday, and all donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt for their donation. 100% of the produce collected will go, free of charge, to local hunger relief agencies. Food Forward will be on-site to help unload donations and provide more information about Food Forward’s work, along with opportunities to get involved.

For more information, please email [email protected] or call the Food Forward office 805-630-2728. For fruit harvesting tips, please check out the Food Forward website.

Event Details:

Food Forward Fruit Drive @ Betty Belts

12 N Fir St, Ventura, CA 93001

Saturday, June 15, 11am – 7pm

Sunday, June 16, 11am – 6pm


Harvesting 101:

  • The best method for harvesting ripe fruit will differ depending on the type of fruit tree you have! Check out this guide for tips about common Southern California varieties.
  • Keep in mind that someone will be consuming this fruit soon after its picked, so only donate fruit that you yourself would eat!
  • Please dispose of fruit that has broken skin, rot, mold, or fruit that has been on the ground. Also, do not donate unripe or green fruit—note that citrus does not ripen off of the tree.
  • When transferring fruit into boxes or bags, it is very important to remove any leaves or stems. Citrus leaves and stems may carry the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a vector responsible for the spread of HLB (citrus greening disease).


About Food Forward:

Food Forward (501(c)(3)) fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh, surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. Fruits and vegetables are collected from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. 100% of the recovered produce is donated to hunger relief agencies across 8 counties in Southern California.

About Betty Belts:

Betty Belts was founded in 2003 in Santa Cruz, Ca, by Designer Donna von Hoesslin, as a fashion accessory company specializing in belts. In the ensuing years, inspired by Donna’s connection to the Ocean and Surfing, with a foundation based on social and environmental sustainability, the company steadily grew.

Developing a highly integrated connection to a village-centric group of artisans on Bali, during Donna’s surf and development travels, the company diversified it’s line and began producing jewelry and apparel under the theme: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink.

The company relocated to Ventura, California in 2005, and shortly after, went from wholesale to retail with the opening of Betty Belts in Downtown Ventura in August 2007.

Today Donna’s company markets both wholesale and retail around the world, spreading her message of female-driven empowerment and social sustainability in her designs and marketing, via an international family of talented female artisans, athletes and brand representatives, many of whose names emblazon her authentic and unique design line. Together they spread what Donna terms “Betty Love”, far and wide.