Full Harvest(R), the business-to-business online marketplace for surplus and imperfect produce, announced it has been selected by Salesforce and the Curry Family’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation on an initiative to help support farmers and food insecure families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Food insecurity is one of the many devastating inequities magnified by COVID-19," said Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce. "Our partnership with Eat. Learn. Play. represents how we can come together during a crisis to support vulnerable communities with innovative solutions that deliver both immediate relief and long-term impact."
The Salesforce and Eat. Learn. Play initiative purchases nutritious organic produce from small and minority farmers and delivers it to Oakland school families suffering from food insecurity. The goal is to provide 32,000 produce boxes of produce - the equivalent of 300 tons of produce - in the first pilot project in Oakland and then look to scale it to other school districts. To date, the program has delivered more than 100,000 pounds of food to 7,000 families.
"This moment has clearly demonstrated the need for all of us to have a holistic approach to food security,” said Jose Corona, Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, Eat. Learn. Play. “We are proud that Eat. Learn. Play., along with all of the partners in this effort, has begun to lay the foundation for a new approach to getting healthy meals and fresh farm produce for our children and families in Oakland. It starts with sourcing from farmers who have been historically disconnected by traditional supply chains, to delivering the food in a manner that meets families where they are."
Full Harvest is partnering with community groups to identify small and minority-owned organic farmers who have been dramatically impacted by disruptions to the food system resulting from COVID-19. Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen and the Numi Tea Foundation will purchase the produce from the farmers via the Full Harvest marketplace and distribute it to families in Oakland. Salesforce and the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation are funding the initiative.
“When COVID hit, we saw significant disruption to many of the small farmers who make up our community,” said Adele Gemignani, Head of Sales and Business Development for Coke Family Farms. “This initiative has helped us weather a very difficult time, providing an outlet for much of the produce our farmers grow while keeping our farming crews employed."
A recently updated report by Project Drawdown found that reducing food waste is the number one most impactful solution to keeping the Earth below two degrees Celsius. Full Harvest is focused on rescuing the billions of pounds of imperfect and surplus produce, one-third of all edible yields (ReFED).