Bella to Karst: I want to make a difference - The Packer

Bella to Karst: I want to make a difference

01/24/2011 11:19:28 AM
Tom Karst

3:07 p.m. Karst: For somebody that doesn't know how this works, explain what happens when somebody has produce they would like to donate. How do you take it from there?

3:08 p.m. Bella: A great example would be a surplus of potatoes. With spring time coming soon, it is time (for potato shippers) to clear out the sheds and get the equipment ready for planting for fall harvest. So those sheds have to be empty no matter what. Some of those potatoes would just be taken out to the fields and plowed into the ground, which is a shame. In a case like that, a grower who has excess produce at the end of the season can contact us. Say they have 40 loads of potatoes they would like to donate. At that point, I would start negotiating with them on what would it take to get the potatoes washed and bagged. The fundraising effort would go all towards covering those additional expenses in further processing, similar to what we did before in Second Harvest. The farmer can’t afford to put the money into the crop because he never sold it.

3:08 p.m. Karst: As far as transportation, would that be covered by the receiving agency?

3:09 p.m. Bella: Hopefully funding would be able to assist us in funding transportation costs too.

3:09 p.m. Karst: Relative to the need for this service, do you feel like it fills a niche that other groups don’t fill?

3:10 pm Bella:  There are food banks out there that because of cost, lack of dollars to transport, or other reasons don’t take fresh produce. Hopefully with fundraising efforts we can knock down barriers and help more hunger relief charities.

3:11 p.m. Karst: How does the fund raising part go? Is there a particular model you are following?

3:11 p.m. Bella: I would like 70% of the funding to come from the community. What I would like to do is put together a house party kit that I would send to anyone who is interested in hosting a party to launch Fresh Hope Produce. They can see the website with their dinner guests, they can talk about hunger issues and nutrition issues in the country. I would like them to make them to make a commitment to provide so much per month to Fresh Hope Produce to help change the situation in America. The other funding I would like to come from foundations and also corporate America.

3:14 p.m. Karst: You have done a lot of work already. What do your next couple of months look like?

3:15 p.m. Bella: The next two months will be basically marketing and fundraising and the outreach to various agencies to get them vetted, get them in the system, educate them about how to use the website and what they can do. The next step now is to get it up and running.

I don’t want to do this for two truckloads a month; I want to do this for hundreds of millions of pounds per year. I want to make a difference.

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