Tag Archives: natasha boissier

Everyone deserves to eat: Andre Green’s kitchen wisdom

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Andre Green’s mission is both simple and heartfelt: no one should go hungry. It’s a mantra that has worked for him in his more than seven years serving food to the homeless and poor.

After a long stint in the kitchen at the East Oakland Community Project, Green began cooking for Berkeley’s most vulnerable residents on Valentine’s Day this year, as the new food services coordinator for Berkeley Food & Housing Project. The non-profit group serves hot meals to homeless men, women, and children from food purchased from the Alameda County Community Food Bank and wholesale grocery stores, along with donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses. … Continue reading »

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Natasha Boissier forages fruit, feeds hungry

North Berkeley Harvest volunteers with founder Natasha Boissier (far right)./Photo: Sarah Henry
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Driving around North Berkeley with Natasha Boissier is an educational experience. Where others see a quiet residential area she sees streets lined with potential pickings and delights when she spots prospective bounty or familiar fruit.

Boissier is a part of a growing movement of urban gleaners who pick fruit from people’s yards (with permission) and donate this surplus produce to food banks, senior centers, and schools who can put this fresh food to good use.

Some residents view an abundant fruit tree as a problem but the 42-year-old clinical social worker sees a simple solution to excess bounty and a way to fill a community need.

Boissier grew up, in part, in Switzerland and remembers climbing her favorite walnut tree during her childhood. She’s turned her love of fruit picking into a kind of foraging philanthropy as the founder of North Berkeley Harvest.

Since the summer of 2007 Boissier and her loose-knit volunteer crew (about 30 in all, around 10 regulars) has harvested a cornucopia of fruit including apples, pears, Asian pears, oranges, lemons, limes, plums, peaches, figs, nectarines, apricots, persimmons, feijoas, grapefruits, sour cherries, walnuts, quinces, and loquats.
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