SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The FruitGuys Community Fund, a non-profit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, today announced that they are raising $10,000 to supplement grants for small farms via the crowdfunding platform Barnraiser, a community designed to power healthy and sustainable food and farming.
Through the project, The FruitGuys Community Fund aims to raise funds to meet the growing needs of small, independent farmers across the country that have big impacts on environmental, economic, and community health. The FruitGuys Community Fund was established in 2012 and grew out of The Farm Steward Program at The FruitGuys, the industry leader and first to provide farm-fresh fruit to the American workplace, based in South San Francisco. Over the last five years, 21 small farms and agricultural non-profits from California to Maryland have received over $85,000 in small grants of up to $5,000.
"More than 110 applicants from across the country have applied for the 2016 grants, up from 15 in 2013, the Community Fund's first year of operation," said Chris Mittelstaedt, founder and board chair of The FruitGuys Community Fund. "There is an enormous need and we are committed to helping small farms become more sustainable. We firmly believe that the Barnraiser Project will provide an opportunity for those who can support neighborhood farms the ability to do so."
2016 has seen a 55 percent increase in applications. The Barnraiser crowdfunding project will further enable The FruitGuys Community Fund to support up to five additional farms. Past recipients have used their grants toward funding pollination, irrigation, solar energy and farming practice upgrades that have allowed them to expand and operate with higher profitability.
Small grants can have big impacts for independent farmers. In 2015, a grant recipient based in Northern California was able to address pollination issues by installing much needed pollinator beds. "The pollinator beds did a fantastic job in attracting beneficial insects," said Matthew Sylvester, farmer and co-owner of Happy Acre Farm in Sunol, CA. "We have never seen so many native pollinators in our lives."
The Barnraiser campaign will go live on Monday, February 22, 2016. Please visit the FruitGuys Community Fund at www.fruitguyscommmunityfund.org.
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About The FruitGuys Community Fund
The FruitGuys Community Fund, established in 2012 as a non-profit 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.
SOURCE The FruitGuys Community Fund