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GULB’s B-grade or “Imperfect” Fruit Distribution

21 Mar 2022, by Admin in Green Urban Lunch Box, Harvest Blog

Hannah Goggin is the HAH VISTA serving at The Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) in Salt Lake City, Utah. GULB is a food justice nonprofit organization that seeks to empower people to connect to their food and community by revitalizing urban spaces and building a resilient food culture. 

The FruitShare program at the Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) partners with fruit tree homeowners and community volunteers to harvest and distribute fruit that would have otherwise fallen to the ground and gone to waste. Much of the fruit that is rescued is categorized as B-grade or “imperfect”. This could mean that it is bruised, damaged by pests, or just plain ugly. Of the 33,610 pounds of fruit that was harvested in 2022, 14,695 pounds were considered B-grade. A-grade fruit is easily distributed by donating to the Utah Food Bank and other local hunger relief programs, but B-grade fruit cannot be donated. GULB’s goal is to give this B-grade fruit a second life because it is still delicious and nutritious!

The FruitShare VISTA, Hannah, works hard at building partnerships with local community organizations and businesses in the hopes they will be able to take B-grade fruit and create delicious food products with them. Hannah created a FruitShare partner packet that is sent to potential partners to let them know what types of fruits GULB has a lot of, what time of the season different fruits can be expected, and how to place orders. 

GULB works with all different types of businesses from breweries, bakeries, and dog treat manufacturers! A small-scale partnership example is with Drupefruit Shrubs, which creates experimental smal-lbatch shrubs every single week. Over the course of the season, GULB provided 50 pounds of various fruit to include in their new weekly flavors. A large-scale example is GULB’s partnership with Mountain West Hard Cider to create a hyper-local hard apple cider. GULB harvests, sorts, washes, grinds, and presses 4,000-6,000 pounds of apples in 300 gallons of fresh cider every year. Mountain West Hard Cider ferments and bottles the cider with a unique label containing GULB’s logo. Each bottle sells for $15, with $5 going back to the Green Urban Lunch Box. 

This past 2022 season, GULB partners with 12 different local businesses and organizations to utilize 8,000 pounds of b-grade fruit. GULB is hoping to partner with more in the future, and to continue to find ways to rescue delicious and nutritious fruit!