What is their project idea?
To minimize the waste of fresh/seasonal vegetables by dehydrating, packaging, and storing them for future use.
How will this be accomplished?
Well, surplus produce from the local farmers will be procured/collected by the group, dehydrated and packaged in facilities that meet FDA standards, partly donated to families in need via local non-profits and partly sold in local grocery stores or farmers markets!
The money generated from the sale of the dehydrated vegetables would be invested into setting up a cooperative or a worker cooperative that would provide meaningful employment to the members of the families in need.
What are the goals?
1. Divert surplus produce into a more productive output in the form of dehydrated vegetables.
2. Reduce the negative impact on environment by reducing energy consumption for storing the vegetables, or canned and frozen foods.
3. Get the satisfaction of playing a part in corporate social responsibility.
Our idea reflects are good example of the triple bottom line concept of People, Planet and Profits.
How does the project exemplify this “People, Planet, and Profits” they’re speaking of?
People: Farmers will be satisfied by contributing to the community thereby building their social capital, and families in need can have variety and nutrition on their plates and find employment opportunities with the farm owners or in the dehydration facilities.
Profit: The scope for newer and smart use of produce [dehydrated vegetables] might encourage the farmers to expand their production. Farmers can expect to recover some cost for their surplus produce by selling/auctioning the surplus even at low costs.
Planet: Reduces waste, saves energy and uses less resources to package and store.
Who are their community partners?
1. Farm owners or vendors at the farmer’s market for procuring the vegetables.
2. Local non-profit organizations that are working [providing food etc.] to help families in need.
3. Local grocery stores who would help us sell the dehydrated produce.
4. Various student organizations would partner with Enactus OU to gain practical experience in community development work.
Enactus anticipates assisting 4 food banks and organizations by diverting an estimated 1,000 pounds of food waste!
Stay tuned for more updates from Enactus‘ exciting project!