Food Runners

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Where's the Fruit?

by Thelma Gross, Volunteer
Regular Food Run, Thursdays
Ferry Building Farmers Market

At the Tory Farms stand at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.....that's where! From June through September Tory and Rebecca Torosian bring fifteen hundred pounds of stone fruit to the market each Thursday and Saturday.  Apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and pluots (oh those pluots!) are in abundance Two to three hundred pounds are donated to Food Runners at the end of each market.  It is a massive gift, and it is given with great heart and generosity by a most wonderful family.  As a Food Runner of almost two years, it is always thrilling to receive it.  That feeling of being useful, of rescuing food and redirecting it to good use, never fades.

Rebecca & Tory Torosian with eldest son, Troy Jr.
The Torosians farm fruit in Dinuba in Tulare County.  I asked Tory once what they did to create such outstanding fruit. "It's the soil," he whispered conspiratorially.  Their region features alluvial soil from Sand Creek and King's River.

Gorgeous white peaches
Delicious nectarines
What sets the Torosians apart is their heart.  They are joyous in their work, and donating fruit to Foodrunners is integral to that joy.  They also give fruit to their market friends, and to a local church back home.  Friends frequently congregate in their stand.  I often think it is more like a party than a going concern!  At the end of the market, Rebecca, who manages the transactions, will often gift fruit to late market stragglers.  I love watching the peoples' faces as they accept her generosity.  It is wonderful to behold, and even more wonderful to load my trunk and fill the inside of my car with their bounty.

Donations ready for transport
Because of the size of the donation, the fruit is split between the Clara House and Walden.  Rickey Rein, who runs the after school program at Clara, is teaching children how to appreciate fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.  Recently they wrote a special card for Rebecca and Tory to show their thanks.  It was my honor to deliver it to the Torosians.

I love Walden House.  Every delivery creates a parade of residents who come to remove fruit from my car.  They are polite and helpful, never allowing me to lift a thing.  It is always such a pleasure to know the fruit will be put to such good use in their large facility.

I love being a Food Runners volunteer.  Who wouldn't, with opportunities like those created by Tory Farms, to make a real difference in the level of nutrition of those in need.

This June, as I approached the market and realized the Torosians had returned, I yelled in delight. I think that says it all. Thank you Food Runners, for making me so happy in volunteership to my community.