Backyard Produce

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Asian citrus psyllid Quarantine

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties cannot accept any backyard citrus donations that contain leaves or stems. Residents can donate their citrus as long as they remove all leaves and long stems and donate only the fruit.

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is a pest that acts as a carrier or vector spreading "huanglongbing" (HLB), a devastating disease of citrus trees. This bacterial disease is transmitted to healthy trees by the psyllid after it feeds on infected plant tissue. This insect and disease endangers not only our commercial citrus industry, but also our backyard gardens.

There is an ACP quarantine area covering central and north San Jose and some Alameda County, and another for the northern part of San Mateo County plus San Francisco. The pest lives only on the leaves, and not the fruit. As long as residents remove the leaves and stems, there is no issue with transporting, donating, or sharing fruit.

Additional resources:

Donation of backyard orangesSecond Harvest Food Bank invites local gardeners to share their backyard bounty. Most home gardeners and community gardens harvest more fresh produce than their families and neighbors can consume, and we welcome them to donate their abundance to those who need it most. By sharing fresh fruits and vegetables lovingly grown in the backyard, the community can help nourish their neighbors in need.

We strive to provide our clients with the most wholesome foods possible.

  • Please only donated produce that you would enjoy eating yourself.
  • Produce must be free of mold or decay and have enough shelf life to remain in good condition for at least 3-5 days.
  • Produce must be properly packed in cardboard boxes, crates, or other sturdy containers in order to prevent damage and bruising.
  • Produce is sanitary and free of rodents and insects, which can spread disease
  • Produce has been grown using water obtained from a public water system that is free from pathogens and other contaminants
  • Produce has only been handled by persons who have followed proper handwashing procedures and are free of illnesses, which could contaminate the produce.

Second Harvest Food Bank is committed to providing safe produce for our local neighbors in need. In accordance with the local health and safety code, Second Harvest will no longer accept anonymous backyard produce. All produce donations must be receipted with the name, address, and phone number of the donor. By donating produce to the Food Bank, you are certifying that it is fresh and safe for consumption to the best of your knowledge.

Download our backyard produce policy flyer

The harvested fruit and vegetables can be delivered to either our San Jose-Curtner or San Carlos warehouse where the food will be properly stored and made readily available for distribution to our network of partner agencies.

If possible, please drop off produce donations early in the week so that we can distribute the fruit and veggies before we close for the weekend.
Donation drop-off hours and locations

If you have questions about donating your backyard produce, please contact the Food Sourcing Department at:
Office: (408) 266-8866 x102


Assistance with Harvesting Backyard Produce

Village Harvest is a local nonprofit organization that harvests fruit from backyards and small orchards with their team of dedicated volunteers. The harvested food is then donated to local hunger-relief agencies to help feed the community. Village Harvest and Second Harvest Food Bank have a long-standing relationship and continue to work together to link excess food with the people who need it. Village Harvest is a wonderful community resource to utilize if you have more produce to donate than you can pick yourself, or if you are looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity. Please check out their website!

Do you have too much to harvest yourself?

Village Harvest

Village Harvest
(888) FRUIT-411


The Plant A Row for the Hungry campaign was launched nationally in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association of America.

Participation is easy! Local gardeners and farmers simply plant one extra row of fruits or veggies in their gardens and donate surplus produce from that extra row directly to the Food Bank.


Are you a backyard gardener? Show off your plot by sharing your photos in our "Edible Gardens" flickr group!