I had the opportunity to attend TEDxManitoba yesterday (February 9, 2012) and one of the first talks of the day was Getty Stewart who came up with, and is the volunteer co-ordinator for the now three-year-old program fruitshare.ca.
The concept is so simple. Connect homeowners that have a surplus of fruit to volunteers who are ready to pick and distribute. The benefits are split three ways between the homeowner, volunteers and community groups. Getty started with the help of South Osborne Urban Community Cooperative in the Riverview/Lord Roberts area (a neighbourhood we’ve recently expanded to!) and now harvests in several other neighbourhoods throughout Winnipeg.
The following year since launch, fruitshare.ca harvested 7,400lbs of fruit – which is worth roughly $15,000 – 20,000 in food costs that would have otherwise gone to waste. Getty’s central premise is to share the surplus of a useful thing that would otherwise go to waste – something we take to heart too.
Her entire talk can be found in the morning session at about minute 52 : http://tedxmanitoba.com/tedxmanitoba-february-9-2012 but as soon as TEDxManitoba reposts individual talks, I’ll embed it here. She discusses from start to finish the conception of the idea, the community engagement locally with her neighbourhood and nationally with other fruitsharing groups. Finally she discusses the true benefits of the fruitshare – and asks, “What could you share?”