The FruitGuys donated more than 1.3 million servings of produce directly to those in need during 2015, a new record for the South San Francisco–based company. Nearly 700,000 pounds of fruit and produce were given to food banks and charities that help the hungry in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and New York areas through the company’s GoodWorks program.
The FruitGuys GoodWorks program supports sustainable agriculture and small farms and fights hunger through direct donations of produce, as well as donations from generous FruitGuys clients to charities via our Donate-a-Crate program and sustainability grants to small farms from The FruitGuys Community Fund.
Direct Donations: More than 680,000 pounds (1.3 million servings) of fresh fruit reached charitable organizations across the country through The FruitGuys’ weekly donations.
Donate-a-Crate: FruitGuys clients generously forwarded their holiday-scheduled fruit deliveries to charities through our Donate-a-Crate program. Clients donated 398 crates, totaling nearly 16,000 servings of fruit, to nonprofit organizations serving their local communities.
The FruitGuys Community Fund, a nonprofit, fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, awarded eight small farms a total of $35,643 for sustainable agriculture projects in California, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey. The grants, which averaged about $3,200 each, helped farms:
“The pollinator beds did a fantastic job in attracting beneficial insects! We have never seen so many native pollinators in our lives,” said Matthew Sylvester, farmer and co-owner of Happy Acre Farm. See owner/operators Matthew and Helena talk about the impact of their grant in this video.
The 2015 grantees were: Chicago Lights Urban Farm in Chicago, IL; Berean Hill Farm in Sparks Glencoe, MD; Milk and Honey Meadows Farm in Lakewood, NJ; Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm in Poolesville, MD; South Central Farmers’ Cooperative in Buttonwillow, CA; The Pie Patch Farm in Chicago, IL; Happy Acre Farm in Sunol, CA; and Colchester Farm Community Supported Agriculture in Georgetown, MD. Their projects range from solar-powered greenhouses and irrigation systems to soil amendments to beehive installations and habitats for pollinators and beneficial insects. Volunteer grant reviewers spent nearly 400 hours sifting through applications. Anyone nationwide can volunteer.
A Barnraiser crowdfunding campaign launched February 22 aims to raise $10,000, which could fund up to five additional farms for the 2016 grant cycle. A record 110 applications were received this year from small farms across the country. The FruitGuys Community Fund is one of the only small grant programs available to farmers. Click here to donate. The 2017 grant cycle will begin in December.
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Sheila Cassani is GoodWorks Ambassador for The FruitGuys.