Citrus

Donate Your Citrus to the Community Food Bank

During the local citrus season (January through March), trees all around southern Arizona fill with fruit. Sadly, pounds and pounds of this fresh, nutritious fruit will go to waste, as thousands of people struggle with hunger and poor nutrition in our community.

You can help us reduce food waste and provide fresh fruit to those in need by donating your unused citrus.

Drop off your Citrus at the Community Food Bank

You can drop off your citrus donations at the Community Food Bank and our area branches:

  • Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona - 3003 S. Country Club, Tucson.
    Monday-Friday  8am-4pm
     
  • Marana Community Food Bank  - 11734 West Grier Road, Marana.
    Mon. Tues. Thurs. Fri. 9am-3pm
    Wed. 9am-5pm
     
  • Green Valley/Sahuarita Community Food Bank -  250 Continental Road #101, Green Valley.
    Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-2pm

Super Citrus Saturdays

During the citrus season, we hold Super Citrus Saturdays to make donating fruit easy. On one Saturday each month, Community Food Bank staff and volunteers will be accepting citrus donations at two locations.

Saturday, January 28
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wells Fargo, Broadway & Swan
Rillito Garden Nursery, 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Saturday, February 18
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wells Fargo, 6920 E. Sunrise
Ashley Home Store, Broadway and Pantano

Saturday, March 25
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wells Fargo, Ajo/16th Ave
Wells Fargo, 3655 E. Grant Rd.

Citrus Gleaning

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona gleaning program, which runs from early January through end of March, is a long standing effort to collect fruit from local homeowners.  Please email citrus@communityfoodbank.org or call 520-449-8340 to schedule your appointment.

For year-round gleaning, please contact Iskashitaa Harvesting at (520) 440-0100 or by visiting http://www.iskashitaa.org/harvesting-and-gleaning/

FAQs

How can I contact you?
You can directly reach our gleaning program team at the Community Food Bank by contacting us at citrus@communityfoodbank.org or calling us at (520) 449-8340.

What does gleaning cost me?
$20 for two hours.

What does that guarantee?
The $20 fee guarantees our driver (and possibly volunteer(s) helping) will pick as much fruit off your tree(s) within the two hours, or until all reachable and viable fruit is picked, whichever comes first. It does not guarantee we pick all of the fruit off all of your trees, but we will try our best. The two hour time block also includes the driver arriving and departing your property.

May I book more than one two hour time block if I have a lot of trees?
Yes! You may book and pay for up to three (six hours total for $60) time blocks a day.

How else may I donate my citrus fruit to the Community Food Bank?
You may participate in one of our Citrus Saturday events (see insert); pick and bag/box the fruit yourself and contact us to arrange a free pick-up; or bring your donation to our warehouse at 3003 S. Country Club Road during operating hours.

Is the $20 fee tax-deductible?
No. The $20 fee pays for a service, so it is not tax-deductible. However, any fruit you donate is tax-deductible and you will receive a mailed letter indicating how much fruit (in pounds) you donated.

Is the fruit I donate tax-deductible?
Yes, any fruit you donate is tax-deductible and you will receive a mailed letter indicating how much fruit (in pounds) you donated.

Will I receive a receipt for my payment?
Yes, you will receive a payment receipt upon request.

Is my $20 refundable?
The $20 fee is refundable if your appointment is canceled, or if we arrive and determine the fruit on your tree(s) has frost damage or appears unusable.

How can I pay the fee?
We accept cash, check and all major credit cards. We strongly encourage that gleaning services be paid in by credit card. You may pay online by visiting http://www.communityfoodbank.org/Gleaning-Fee. All payment must be received prior to your gleaning appointment.

What do I do if I have to cancel or move my gleaning appointment?
You may call us at (520) 449-8340 or email us at citrus@communityfoodbank.org to cancel or move your appointment. However, please note that we typically fill-up very early in the gleaning season and we might not have any appointments left.

If I cancel, will I receive a refund?
Yes. Please allow extra time for us to process the refund. Please also cancel in a timely manner.

What if I am unhappy with the gleaning service?
Please understand that we are not professional landscapers or tree experts, and are doing our best within the timeframe and with limited resources. We are sincerely sorry if you are not pleased with our service. However, we cannot refund your fee.

Can my orchard or home owners’ association participate in your gleaning program?
We have contacted all of the orchards and home owners’ associations that have participated in our program in the past to schedule an appointment. Participating HOA’s will not need to pay the fee. To find out if your HOA is participating, please check with your HOA representatives.

How do I know if my fruit is edible?
If you suspect your tree may have suffered frost or another type of damage, we suggest picking a few pieces and let them sit on a counter top at room temperature for a few days. If the fruit gets soft after a few days, the fruit will not be usable by the Food Bank due to storage concerns.

What happens with the fruit donated?
The fruit donated will be distributed to clients of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona who use our services for emergency food relief, approximately 30,000 people a month. It might also be used by our agency partners (for a list of our agency partners, please visit www.communityfoodbank.org/Get-Help/Agency-Search).

Is there a citrus quarantine in Pima County?
No. The citrus quarantine does not affect the Tucson and surrounding communities. The Arizona Department of Agriculture has issued a citrus quarantine again this season. This will not affect the Tucson area and surrounding communities.  The quarantine affects large portions of Maricopa, Yuma, La Paz and Mohave counties and the city of Nogales, but not Santa Cruz County.  The Nogales Community Food Bank does not accept citrus donations from the public. At this point a state quarantine covers almost 23,000 acres to contain the psyllid. The state works with industry, Master Gardener programs, the University of Arizona and federal partners to prevent the spread. One type of wasp, a natural enemy of the psyllid, is being tested to combat the pest in Yuma and western Arizona.

Numerous commercial groves and thousands of backyard trees outside the state’s quarantine are not infested. The pest that damages the citrus is not harmful to humans and animals. Citrus in Arizona means more than the hundreds of thousands of trees dotting backyards, it’s an important industry. Citrus is an essential part of the $17.1 billion agricultural impact on Arizona’s economy.  The state of Arizona has been battling this pest since 2009.  The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona will once again begin it’s backyard Citrus Gleaning program in January through March and also hold several Super Citrus Saturday’s collection locations for citrus donations.  The Community Food Bank will begin scheduling gleaning appointments beginning December 28, 2015.

For more information on the Citrus Quarantine visit:  www.agriculture.az.gov

I still have more questions, who may I contact?
Please contact us with any concerns at citrus@communityfoodbank.org or call us at (520) 449-8340.