A new initiative in New Bedford is putting forgotten fruit to good use.

Representative William Strauss says the New Bedford City Fruit Initiative has been launched, with volunteers collecting fruit from residents that have trees or vines in their yards that they no longer harvest. The fruit is then donated to local food pantries.

Strauss tells WBSM News the process requires no special permits or licenses. "Because there's a federal law that creates a protection from any liability in letting people come on your property to pick your trees to donate for charitable purposes," says Strauss.

Strauss introduced the initiative after hearing about a similar program in Seattle.

The program is being coordinated through the Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network.