SAN FRANCISCO — The FruitGuys Community Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives that provides grants to small farms and sustainability projects, announces the recipients of its 2017 grants. This year, the fund awarded 10 small American farms and agricultural nonprofits a total of $42,913 in funding for sustainability projects aimed to impact environmental, economic and community health.
The FruitGuys Community Fund received 70 letters of intent from farms across the United States proposing many impactful sustainable agriculture projects focused on supporting pollinators, conserving soil, water, and energy, extending the growing season and increasing harvests. Of the 20 finalists selected from The Community Fund’s volunteer review committee, 10 farms have been selected to receive up to $5,000 in funding to support its proposed sustainability projects.
The FruitGuys is a San Francisco-based company that delivers wellness to workplaces across America through boxes of farm-fresh fruit in an effort to replace breakroom junk food and promote healthy snacking. Because the fruits are sourced from small, independent and family-run American farms, The FruitGuys developed a deeper understanding and connection to the plight of small farmers and in 2008, the company organized a Farm Steward Program to give grants to American farms to support sustainable agriculture projects. In 2012, the Farm Steward Program was officially established as a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives and renamed The FruitGuys Community Fund.
“The Community Fund’s core belief is to fund projects that make an impact beyond the farm, which is valuable not only for the farmer, but also for the world at large,” said Chris Mittelstaedt, founder and CEO of The FruitGuys and Board Advisor for The Community Fund. “This class of Community Fund recipients exemplify this mission as they work toward greater environmental and economic health, community engagement and sustainable agriculture.”
The Community Fund’s Class of 2017 ranges from a small, half acre urban farm in Chicago that will use its $5,000 grant to fund the purchase of an ice freezer, solar panels and extra coolers to support its new “Neighborhood Greens Program” which will bring fresh bunched greens to city convenience stores accepting food stamps, to a 13 acre farm in Maine that will use its grant to build a rainwater catchment system that will provide approximately 1,000 gallons of water for every inch of rain. To view the full list of grant recipients and read about each of their funded projects, visit http://fruitguyscommunityfund.org/grow-good-2017-grants-awarded/
Since 2012, The FruitGuys Community fund has awarded more than $167,000 to 41 farms to support sustainability projects that have a large, positive impact on the environment, local food systems and farm diversity.
For those interested in getting involved with The Community Fund, there are many ways to participate. Through small donations, The Community Fund is able to extend their reach to support more projects that address water conservation, natural pest control, energy efficiency, soil health or pollination. To donate, visit https://fruitguyscommunityfund.wedid.it/. People can also volunteer to become a part the Grant Review Community to help decide which projects get funded in 2018. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE FRUITGUYS
The FruitGuys delivers wellness to workplaces across America through boxes of farm-fresh fruit in an effort to replace break room junk food and promote healthy snacking. The fruits are sourced from small farms across the country, which supports American farmers and also serves communities in need through weekly donations to homeless shelters, foodbanks and other nonprofits. Founded in a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment in 1998 by CEO and founder Chris Mittelstaedt, The FruitGuys is still family owned and operated, and maintains its commitment to giving back as well as expanding its network of family farms in each of its regional hubs across the U.S. Today, The FruitGuys is the nation’s No. 1 provider or farm-fresh fruit to business. For more information, visit www.fruitguys.com
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