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A Non-Profit Fiscally Sponsored Project Of Community Initiatives

Awards $25,000 in Grants to Support Small Independent American Farmers

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2013 -- The FruitGuys Community Fund, a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives that launched in late 2012 with a mission to support small independent American farms, announced today awards of $25,000 through their Sustainability Project Grant Program.

The FruitGuys Community Fund aims to support farms, farmers, nonprofits and policies that allow for greater environmental and economic health, community engagement and advocacy that embrace sustainable agriculture.

The Community Fund grew out of The FruitGuys' Farm Steward Program, which has been a key part of the company's business for years. Founded in 1998, The FruitGuys delivers fresh fruit to offices and has been actively supporting small American farms with grants to enable environmental sustainability efforts. The first grant was awarded in 2008 and in 2012, The FruitGuys partnered with Community Initiatives to launch the non-profit. Community Initiatives' mission enables individuals and groups to create and invest in projects that benefit the public.

Farmers across the U.S. and various nonprofits, applied for the grant to implement a sustainable agriculture project by submitting their farm's goals, commitments and impact on the community that the project would yield. Winners of The FruitGuys Community Fund Sustainability Project Grants for 2013 are:

  • Snipes Family Farm and Education Center in Morrisville, PA - $5,000
  • Red Heart Ranch in Lake County, CA - $5,000
  • New Family Farm in Sebastopol, CA - $3,500
  • Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) in Sunol, CA - $3,000
  • Two Gander Farms in Downingtown, PA - $3,500

"We are committed to keeping the traditions of the small independent American farmer alive and believe they are catalysts for environmental and economic sufficiency, sustainability, food safety and food access," said Chris Mittelstaedt, chief executive officer, The FruitGuys and founder of The FruitGuys Community Fund. "We applaud the winners who are leaders and models of self-reliance and land stewardship."

Grant money will enable the building of solar-powered irrigation systems, projects that add to soil fertility, plantings that promote sustainable urban-edge agriculture and equipment purchases that will expand community supported agriculture programs.

For more information on The FruitGuys and the Community Fund, please visit www.fruitguyscommunityfund.org.

Media Contact:
Tracy Rubin / Tracey Koblick
JCUTLER media group
tracy@jcutlermedia.com
tk@jcutlermedia.com

The FruitGuys Community Fund
The FruitGuys Community Fund, established in 2012 as a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, grew out of The Farm Steward Program at The FruitGuys, a national fruit distribution company based in South San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2011, the Farm Steward Program gave grants to small farms for environmental sustainability efforts, to develop heirloom resources, and as crop-bridge funds. Small independent farms received honeybees and beehives, owl and bat boxes, and/or pollinator hedgerow plantings.