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Impact of Your Donation

The Why of It
In America, each year, we waste over 40 million pounds of backyard fruit while one in six Americans don’t know where their next meal comes from. We have a moral and social responsibility to not waste food especially when people need it. This project converts excess fruit into healthy food for the needy.

Your donation impacts:

-Hunger
-Environment
-Health
-Community

Impact on Hunger
According to USDA, in order to feed a person for a day, a farmer must grow 5 pounds of food.

Using this measure, you provided enough food to feed {{field_# People 17}} people three square meals for a day. That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. This number always surprises me. Are you surprised?

By the way, we are not suggesting that a person can live on fruit alone. Instead, this is the amount of calories and nutrients that’s necessary to sustain a person for a day.

Impact on the Environment
Industrial food production is destroying our environment. Fossil fuel based fertilizers, fossil fuel based pesticides, fossil fuel-based herbicides and long-distance transportation of our food is responsible for 35 to 40% of all greenhouse gasses that are emitted into the environment. Also, industrial food production wastes a lot of water and is the number one user of our freshwater resources.

Contrast that with the fruit you donated. Most backyard fruit trees are naturalized. Meaning the trees are seldom fertilized, sprayed or even watered. Fruit trees are amazingly resilient and can survive very harsh conditions such as multi-year server droughts and still produce fruit.

As far as transportation, each chapter of The Urban Farmers covers a 25-mile radius area of the county. A typical harvest visits three homes in 3 hours, produces over 800 pounds of fruit and travels about 17 miles. This transportation footprint is negligible compared to fruit that comes from China or Chile.

Impact on Health
According to Union of Concerned Scientists, if Americans could increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables by one serving (6 oz) per day, the savings to the country from preventable deaths and diseases would exceed 11 trillion dollars per year (read The $11 Trillion Reward).

While we do not have reliable data on consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by the poor, my guess is, it’s not enough. Your contribution of fresh fruit not only brings joy to people but in a tangible way, helps reduce medical costs that are carried by taxpayers.

Cost of Production
We are building a modern system of social production. We do a niche job that addresses a specific social problem with a sharp focus on effectiveness. The place where our focus on effectiveness is easy to see is the cost of production.

All the fruit, such as yours, is donated and all the labor that powers the project is volunteered. We have no staff, no offices, and none of the traditional overhead expenses. As a result, our operating cost to harvest and deliver a pound of fruit is about 12 cents per pound. Using the earlier measure of 5 pounds of fruit per person per day, this amounts to the production cost of about 60 cents to feed a per person for a day. We are not talking about one serving of fruit. We are talking about all the calories and nutrients a person needs for a day for just sixty cents. We can’t buy a single can of soup for sixty cents.

The Magic of Coordinated Action
We face a tough but exhilarating job of balancing the desire for maximum production with the need to protect the environment, to balance the cost of the operations, and the value of the service to the community. These lofty goals can only be achieved if a lot of people, including you and me, are willing to do their part. You give fruit and I coordinate the work. Volunteers pick fruit and engineers run our systems. Where would be without neighborhood leaders and harvest leaders that make harvests possible? Together we generate a tremendous amount of power to help others and reduce suffering.