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Fruit Donation Guide

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March 27, 2024

With rising food costs, food banks are struggling to meet demand, particularly for nutritious, fresh produce such as citrus. While donations from backyard citrus trees provide a unique solution, residents are being encouraged to follow best practices to ensure they’re not donating produce that may spread harmful pests or diseases that can threaten your community’s backyard fruit.

The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP), administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, developed the following guidelines on how to safely donate fruit to help limit the movement of the dangerous pest called the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), which can spread the deadly citrus tree disease, Huanglongbing (HLB), and other pests and diseases.

ACP and HLB, as well as several species of invasive fruit flies, have been found in the state of California and residential citrus tree owners should be on alert. While not harmful to humans or animals, there is no cure for HLB, and infected trees will die. As of today, HLB has been found in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties. Although HLB hasn’t been found in a commercial citrus grove, more than 7,400 residential citrus trees in California have been infected with HLB and removed to limit the spread of the disease.