In the very beginnings of FIFABQ, we would give away the fruit we harvested to anyone, anywhere we happened to be.
Often times we shared out of cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, and every last one of our reusable grocery bags.
Sometimes we would leave a box at the bus stop.
Maybe we would be driving by a park of soccer-playing families.
Other times, we’d post up at the local feed store in Tijeras on our way home.
Well, because we didn’t know where to give away the food.
We simply didn’t understand the networks.
We received a lot of feedback about this - both positive and not so positive
I believe one of the first places we discovered was the Center for Peace and Justice, located at 202 Harvard Dr. SE. They do a grocery giveaway each Saturday
rain or shine. We were so thrilled to have this resource!
However, we learned something right away.
The food was not always the right fit -
Too squishy apricots
Or far too many peaches that even with the best efforts couldn’t be given away at the event.
Then, we discovered St Martins Hospitality Center (now known as Hopeworks). Again, we were thrilled to work with their wonderful kitchen staff and clients.
But we learned again, that the food was not always the right fit.
A truckload of sweet corn, while a neat surprise quickly became a problem to solve. An uncountable number of apples weren’t something all of their clients could enjoy without processing
So we continued reaching out to new places and amassing an amount of information we didn't quite know what we were going to do with, until one day we did...
Each harvest is unique and so is each distribution.
We often do not know where the food is going until the time of the harvest.
While that sounds like poor planning, it’s actually a quite brilliant solution to the issues we face
When our team arrives on-site, the first thing we do is take a few bites to test both ripeness and quality. Then we survey the tree/field to estimate how much of a bounty she will give.
We then take that information into account and attempt to match the food with its best avenue, ensuring it reaches as far into the community as possible.
Here are a few questions we ask ...
How many people does the receiving location serve?
Are they open?
If so, when is the next distribution? We don’t want to donate peaches on Tuesday if the distribution is not until Saturday, the food will have likely passed its most optimal stages.
What is their storage capacity? How much is too much?
What is their ability to process the food if needed?
How far away is it? Can we get there immediately or do we need somewhere closer?
In the thick of harvest season, this piece of the puzzle can be daunting and frankly overwhelming but we are beyond dedicated to our distribution program.
We are always thinking up new ways to make the system run more smoothly but for now, we think it’s pretty great
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