Mission & History:
PFTP's mission is to increase equitable access to healthy food and strengthen communities by empowering neighbors to share in the harvest and care of city-grown produce.
Created in 2006 as the 'Neighborhood Fruit Tree Project', we began organizing in the Humboldt and King neighborhoods of North/Northeast Portland. Soon, people from all over the city started contacting us, wanting to to get involved in their own communities. In 2007, we changed the name to 'Portland Fruit Tree Project' and now include trees and volunteers from all over Portland. In 2008 the organization became an official 501c3 non-profit after merging with Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods. In January 2009 we hired our Executive Director (Katy Kolker) as our first full-time staff person, with support from Meyer Memorial Trust. We established our office headquarters on Killingsworth street in June of 2009, and brought on NWSA Americorps member Bob Hatton as Harvest & Stewardship Coordinator in September of that year. In 2010 we launched our Fruit Tree Stewardship programs, and our new Community Orchards program. Since it's inception, PFTP's programs and accomplishments have grown by leaps and bounds each year.
What we accomplished in 2011:
- In 63 harvesting events (57 harvesting parties, 4 group harvests, 2 benefit harvests) we brought together 541 volunteers in harvesting fruit. 53% of harvest participants were living on low incomes.
- Harvested over 39,000 pounds of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste, from 354 trees at 79 sites throughout the city.
- 29,000 lbs of this fruit was distributed to over 4000 families in need through food pantry partners. The rest went home with harvest participants
- Held 21 hands-on workshops in tree care and food preservation, teaching 182 people skills for self-sufficiency. Scholarships were provided to 1/3 of participants.
- Engaged 86 volunteers in leadership roles as Harvest Leaders, Tree Scouts, Tree Care Team Leaders, Workshop instructors, Committee members, Interns, and Garden/Orchard Coordinators.
- Registered 404 new fruit trees, bringing the total number to 1,546 (and counting).
- Harvesting Parties
- Group Harvests
- Benefit Harvests
- Tree Registration
- Tree Care Teams