Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Solution for surplus produce

Locally grown food picked and offered to food banks

  • Print
default video player to use on WFP

Apples may never fall far from the tree, but a Winnipeg group wants to make sure people eat them before they hit the ground.

Fruit Share, a non-profit volunteer organization that blossomed just three years ago, is helping food-bank clients eat fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally in homeowners' backyards.

Founder Getty Stewart said she came up with Fruit Share after walking down her back alley and seeing fallen apples rotting in bags destined to be picked up by garbage trucks.

"When I was growing up on the farm we used everything," Stewart said on Friday. "It was heartbreaking to see all this food being wasted."

SSLqWhen I was growing up on the farm we used everything. It was heartbreaking to see all this food being wasted'

Stewart said the first year, 2010, she rounded up 10 of her relatives and friends and began picking. Within a few days they had picked 3,323 kilograms of fruit at 97 addresses and helped six food banks.

By 2012, Fruit Share had grown to harvest more than 4,500 kg of fruit and helped more than two dozen food banks. It has also spread to Brandon, where more than 2,250 kg of fruit has already been picked, and to Steinbach, which now has more than 900 kg.

The volunteer pickers have gathered more than 3,000 kg of fruit so far this year and they're hoping to keep on picking until frost. They have also been picking rhubarb, strawberries and squash this year.

Stewart said Fruit Share splits the bounty they pick into three parts, with equal shares going to the homeowner, the volunteer picker and food banks.

Sarah Klassen Bartel, a volunteer picker, said she has already turned some of the apples she picked into applesauce, with others to soon be fruit rollups.

"I'm interested in local food," she said. "I want to be able to eat what's around. I've seen fruit falling in peoples' backyards and thought, 'what a shame.' "

David Northcott, Winnipeg Harvest's executive director, said they are thrilled to be one of the recipients of the apple harvest.

"Any time you can put fresh food in our hampers is just great," Northcott said. "And to have people who know how to properly pick the product is really great. People have been very generous in the past with produce donations, but this is the first time it has been a purposeful way."

Rick Frost, CEO of the Winnipeg Foundation, said they believe so much in the Fruit Share concept that it has provided it with grants the last couple of years so Fruit Share could hire a summer co-ordinator to create an operations plan and manual, pay for the cost of its website and buy picking supplies and equipment.

"Food is one of the themes of the Winnipeg Foundation and we've always supported an organization like Winnipeg Harvest or after-school programs... Fruit Share comes at it in a different way by preventing the waste of unwanted fruit," Frost said.

Stewart said if anyone wants to volunteer or agree to let their fruit tree become part of the program, call 204-272-8520 or email info@fruitshare.ca.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

What would keep you from joining in a fruit share? Join the conversation in the comments below:

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 16, 2013 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Steeves wants to divert BRT cash to rec centres

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the federal government be able to censor how Ottawa is portrayed in the CMHR?

View Results

Ads by Google