As we reflect back on another challenging year, we are incredibly grateful for our clients and their positive impact on people and the planet through The FruitGuys GoodWorks Programs. Together in 2021, we fed nearly 1 million people in need and helped sustain small farms.
“In another difficult year for farms and small businesses like ours, we are so grateful for the clients that ordered fruit for their employees and those that were closed but generously forwarded their orders through our Donate-a-Crate program,” said Chris Mittelstaedt, The FruitGuys Founder and CEO. “Despite the challenges, we were still able to donate healthy food to those in need and provide grants to small farms for sustainability projects with the help of donors to our Help Farms, Help Our Planet campaign. ”
Our family-owned and operated B Corp business has donated excess fruit and produce each week since 1998 to local community organizations to help those experiencing hunger and to eliminate food waste. We have built relationships with more than 200 small, independent farms and food producers across the U.S. and remain dedicated to building long-term relationships with growers of unique produce and strong stewards of the land.
We support this mission by donating a minimum value of 20% annual profits to fight hunger and support sustainable farming practices
Over the years we have expanded our programs to include ways for clients and individuals to directly give back. Through the Donate-a-Crate program, your weekly order can be forwarded to a hunger relief partner or to a local charity of your choice. Since 2012, our non-profit, The FruitGuys Community Fund has provided grants to small farms for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. From August 2020 to January 2022, The FoodWorks Fund nonprofit turned 100% tax-deductible donations into boxes with a week’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables and delivered them to hunger relief community partner organizations for distribution to those in need.
“It’s incredibly humbling that so many have supported our efforts to give back despite the challenges over the last year,” said Sheila Cassani, FruitGuys Mission Engagement Manager. “The pandemic has taught us there is no right answer in decision-making. There are simply decisions. How can you minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones?”
We are especially grateful to our clients who stuck with us through 2021; our FruitGuys team members; farm partners and vendors; and community partners; as well as all the businesses and individuals who generously gave. All together we helped make so many people’s lives a little better in 2021!
“I want to say a huge thank you to The FruitGuys clients who chose to forward their weekly orders to Project Open Hand and other community organizations in 2021. We have been delighted to receive this beautiful produce to share with our clients. Many have reached out in thanks for the amazing variety and quality of delicious fruit and vegetables.” —Daniel Cohen, Grocery Center Operations Manager, Project Open Hand.
Project Open Hand’s mission is to improve health outcomes and quality of life by providing nutritious meals to the sick and vulnerable, caring for and educating our community.
2021 The Year in Numbers
861,476 people fed through donations via our GoodWorks programs
3 grants for sustainability projects awarded to small farms and agricultural nonprofits
3,781 boxes of produce were forwarded to hunger relief partners. These fed 196,251 people
The FoodWorks Fund
3,498 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables were donated. Feeding 139,920 neighbors in need
The FruitGuys Weekly Fruit Donations
Fed 525,305 individuals experiencing hunger via food banks and community organizations
The FruitGuys Community Fund
Awarded three small farms nearly $15,000 in grant funding for environmental sustainability projects
Employee Volunteer Service
FruitGuys employees dedicated 1,606 hours of paid volunteer service hours to non-profits
What’s Happening – 2022
The FruitGuys Community Fund 2022 Grant Cycle is underway to provide another round of critical support to small farms as environmental stewards and agents of climate stabilization. This year, The Fund hopes to award up to 15 projects. Thanks to a generous grant from Aramark, a majority of the awards will be directed to those most vulnerable during this time, including farmers of color, women farmers, and farmers who are veterans. We look forward to supporting another group of hard-working, indispensable farmers and their communities.
Hunger Relief we continue to provide weekly fresh food to people in need by donating all our excess, edible, and visually-imperfect produce to local food banks and charities in the regions we serve.
Donate-a-Crate regular clients have the opportunity to easily forward their orders any time to a local charity instead of cancelling it. Your fruit will bring smiles and health to those in need in your community. Please consider this if you experience a brief covid shut-down or during any holidays.
B Corp Certification, Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose. Every three years companies must be recertified. The FruitGuys looks forward to completing its B Impact Assessment in 2022 and continuing our journey to evaluate our practices, set ambitious goals, and promote positive change.