Dear City Fruit members, volunteers, and supporters:
First and foremost, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this unprecedented time of crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic in our community.
We want to share an update on how this continuing pandemic has impacted our work and how you can help City Fruit continue to support its community partners during this time.
We have cancelled all March events, including volunteer tree pruning, public workshops, and our Master Fruit Tree Steward class. We will continue to communicate any additional cancellations in order to limit transmission of the virus and to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community. We plan to schedule new events as soon as circumstances allow.
We have resolved to continue meeting our community impact goals and keep our staff employed. The crucial programs we are continuing include tree care services and planning for the harvest season. It is imperative that we keep the public and private trees we manage healthy and ready to produce come harvest season, so that we can provide quality, nutritious fruits to our community partners.
We are actively connecting with our community partners to determine how we can support them during this time of uncertainty. Together as a community, we provided the equivalent of over 26,000 meals last year to our neighbors. That’s an increase in fruit giving from the prior year by over 31%. We achieved this together through harvesting and donating over 31,000 pounds of fresh, local fruit to more than 20 Seattle-area meal programs and food banks. We’ve learned that our community partners – and the neighbors they serve – are increasingly, and disproportionately, impacted by this public health crisis. Now more than ever, we want to be sure that City Fruit can fulfill our mission.
We need your help. In order to ensure we can support our partners and our shared neighbors, we’re asking for your assistance. By cancelling our public events, we are facing a loss of funding needed to ensure everyone in our community shares in the value of fruit. Because we receive financial support based on our public outreach efforts, we lose out on revenue when we cannot do this work. We particularly need additional funding as we gear up for the summer harvest, to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community.
We have a strong history of accomplishing a lot with a little! If you can pitch in to support City Fruit, we can continue to put our urban orchard to its best and fullest use – and to be a strong community partner in this challenging time.
Thank you for your ongoing support and belief in our efforts to build community over the sharing of fruit and stewardship.
Patrick Gordon, President – Board of Directors
Laura Skelton, Interim Executive Director