This month’s Awesome grant winner is Hidden Harvest Ottawa! Within the city limits of Ottawa there are 42,000+ fruit and nut trees which go unharvested every year. This adds up to thousands of pounds of food going to waste. Meanwhile community organizations and agencies like the Food Bank struggle to feed their communities with fresh produce and the owners of the trees throw away the excess. Hidden Harvest Ottawa seeks to bridge the gap: to pick fruit, share it, and then plant more trees.
HHO will connect landowners with trees, tree owners with volunteer harvesters, and harvesters with community agencies. The harvest itself will follow a sustainable ¼ model: ¼ will go to the tree owner, ¼ to the volunteer harvesters, ¼ to the nearest community agency in need, and ¼ will return to HHO to generate funds to support the organization.
Jason and Katrina, the founders of HHO, are friends that met through wild food salvaging adventures around Ottawa. Jason is on the Board of Directors for Just Food and a member of the Ottawa Forest and Greenspace Advisory Committee. Katrina was Outreach and Communications Director at The Otesha Project (a local sustainability non-profit) from 2009-2011. With the awesome grant they plan to invest in two bike trailers that will carry the weight they need to tote the fruit from the harvest to local food agencies.
If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, landowner, or community group, please let us know or check out their Facebook page!