Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet Emma, Arushi & Emily from Austin, TX whose mission is to provide easy access to healthy foods for low income families while reducing food waste. They made healthy eating a convenient habit by setting up mini produce stations in front of elementary schools in their city at the end of the school day, making it easy for parents to grab a couple of healthy fruits and vegetables before dinnertime when picking up their children from school. The reduced price produce was bruised or “imperfect” by certain grocery store standards but was completely edible, fresh, and sourced sustainably.
- What inspired you to start this project? After learning about food deserts and food waste in the US, we combined the two problems with our love for the environment and provided a solution.
- Other than you, how many student volunteers participated in your service project? 2
- Other than you, how many adult (18+) volunteers participated in your service project? 4
- How many hours did you spend on your project? 200
- How many hours did other volunteers spend on your project? 450
- How many individuals were affected by your project? 100
- During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you? We knew there was a need for fresh produce, but we didn’t realize how much. At our produce stands there were always lines of people waiting to receive local and organic vegetables.
- Overall what did you learn from this experience? We learned how much of an impact 3 high school students can have. After each produce stand, we had parents thanking us for what we were doing and letting us know that they would be using the produce for dinner that night. If it weren’t for us, these families may not have been exposed to different types of vegetables or have been able to eat a healthy meal that night.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future? We hope that we educated and inspired families to continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables. By providing samples of the lesser known vegetables like collard greens and Swiss chard, we believe that the families learned how easy it is to make quick recipes that taste good and are healthy.