SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, 2020—Full Harvest(R), the first business-to-business online marketplace for surplus and imperfect produce, today 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 - 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.
The COVID pandemic has exacerbated on-farm food waste trends, disrupting supply chains for many US farmers who traditionally produced for the foodservice and restaurant sector. This is especially true of small, minority-owned farmers.. All this while tens of million people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, increasing the number of food-insecure American families to 54 million.
“COVID has put an incredible strain on millions of American families, requiring us to find innovative partners who can help us get healthy foods to these communities quickly and at scale,” said Ramiro Arevalo Jr. Manager of Partnerships and Relief Operations at World Central Kitchen. “With its ease of purchasing and logistics support, the Full Harvest marketplace has been an invaluable tool in helping us feed nutritious fresh produce to thousands of Oakland families.”
The program builds on a previous partnership from Full Harvest, the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, and World Central Kitchen to provide Oakland families with produce boxes. To date, this previous program has provided more than 18,000 produce boxes for Oakland families.
"The COVID pandemic has profoundly disrupted the food system with many small farmers unable to sell millions of pounds of produce, while more Americans go hungry," said Christine Moseley, Founder and CEO of Full Harvest. "We're honored to be part of such a committed group of companies and nonprofits partnering to ensure the long-term sustainability of our farming communities and providing our nation's most at-risk families with a nutritious source of food."
“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.”
"Globally, food insecurity has doubled as a direct result of COVID-19, and there are 54M Americans now struggling with this, including one in four children,” said Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Executive Director, Numi Foundation. “Numi Foundation is honored to work with such an esteemed group of partners and funders to help serve some of the highest-need families in our community through this innovative program. We look forward to building on this emergency relief program to launch an ongoing, sustainable effort to increase access to fresh, healthy food in the middle of some of the country’s most prominent food deserts."
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) -- that go to waste at the farm level each year simply because they do not meet strict cosmetic retail standards. Through its online marketplace, the company helps growers capture new revenue opportunities by connecting them directly with processors and food and beverage brands who benefit from sourcing sustainable produce, often at a lower cost.
Full Harvest was also recently recognized as a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, a Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award winner, and one of Forbes’ Most Innovative Agtech Startups.
About Full Harvest
Full Harvest is solving the massive food waste problem as the first business-to-business online marketplace for imperfect and surplus produce. The company connects food and beverage brands and processors directly to farms online to buy discounted surplus and imperfect produce. They are creating value along the entire supply chain by lowering healthy food production costs, significantly reducing wasted food and resources, while also bringing farmers an additional revenue stream. A win-win-win for farmers, food companies and the planet. Full Harvest is backed by a group of top investors, including Spark Capital and Cultivian. Learn more at www.fullharvest.com.