Founded in 2012, The FruitGuys Community Fund (TFGCF) is a 501c3 under fiscal sponsorship of Community Initiatives. TFGCF grew out of The Farm Steward Program at The FruitGuys, a family-run office fruit & snack delivery service and Certified B Corp. Founded in 1998 in San Francisco, CA, The FruitGuys sources locally-grown produce from farms near 17 regional hubs and works with 200+ US farms. Founder and CEO, Chris Mittelstaedt, was struck by farmers’ personal stories and how a small project can impact a farm’s livelihood. These stories informed the program’s creation and continue to influence the evolution of our grant program.
The FruitGuys began bringing healthy fruit to offices as a replacement to breakroom junk food. Sourcing directly from small, independent, and family-run American farms.
The Farm Steward Program began giving grants to small farms for environmental sustainability efforts, to develop heirloom resources, and as crop-bridge funds. Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, CA received four honey bee hives (48,000 bees!!) to pollinate their orchards.
Jelich Ranch in Portola Valley, CA received bat boxes giving these helpful predators a place to roost and hunt insects that are harmful to fruit trees.
E & M Farm in Vernalis, CA and Kauffman’s Fruit Farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA received owl boxes for natural approach to pest control. Blue Moon Organics in Aptos, CA received funds to plant an herb garden. We sponsored the planting of twenty edible trees and shrubs at Walnut Hill Community Farm in Philadelphia, PA.
Baia Nicchia in Sunol, CA received a $3,000 no-interest loan to plant more tomatoes and get through the summer growing season to harvest time.
Our grant making efforts were formalized with the establishment of our non-profit project, The FruitGuys Community Fund. Since 2012, we’ve awarded 105 grants totaling more than a $412,000 dollars to small-scale farmers.