A Silver Lining in Philadelphia Food Deserts
(Philadelphia, PA) – The United States Department of Agriculture reports that about 23.5 million Americans live in food deserts, including 6.5 million children. Food deserts develop due to the lack of affordable and nutritious food in these areas. Among the ten major cities in the United States, Philadelphia stands alone at the top with the highest obesity rates and poorest population. In an effort to support the termination of food deserts, two Temple University graduates are making their mark.
In support of Philabundance’s KidsBites program, twin sisters Sarah and Rachel Stanton created Fruitstrology. Fruitstrology donates a serving of fresh fruit to a child in need in exchange customized t-shirt. This business idea stemmed from a fondness of t-shirt creation and the awareness of Philadelphia’s urban food deserts.
In 2014, during their senior year of college, they volunteered at Uber Street Community Garden and immediately saw the need for access to fresh food in Philadelphia. While volunteering, children at a nearby school were seen eating candy and junk food on a daily basis. With so many corner stores without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Rachel and Sarah saw an opportunity. Through Uber Street they had an opportunity to educate children in the garden and share the beauty fresh produce. With their previous experience in making t-shirts, Fruitstrology was born.
Fruitstrology: a fruit with its own unique personality. The talkative grape, the smart apple, the ambitious coconut, the independent pineapple, and the list goes on. These unique personality traits for each fruit allows you to say something about yourself while supporting local children’s nutrition.
Through Philabundance, a nonprofit food bank that serves the Delaware Valley, Fruitstrology works directly with their KidsBites program. The goal of the KidsBites program is to provide adequate nutrition to children. Proceeds are donated on a monthly basis or more frequently based upon the sales of products.
As always, starting new businesses is a challenge. Two college seniors, on an extremely tight budget with the task of completing school work, challenges are always expected. Despite the adversity, Rachel and Sarah overcame those obstacles and continue their mission to this day. In the beginning, Fruitstrology expanded mostly with word of mouth awareness, but in an attempt to grow the business on a daily basis, they remain an active member on social media and embrace every opportunity to speak at different events.
As the business continues to grow, Sarah and Rachel have their goals set on branching out to other large cities across the country. They would like to continue to expand their product line as well getting closer with the community.
When asked to share advice for other entrepreneurs, they said, “Your biggest failures are your biggest lessons. Harness and embrace your mistakes and that is how you will eventually overcome them. More often than not you will encounter struggles, but it’s always worth it in the end. Don’t be afraid to adapt and learn how to give the final say. At the end of the day it comes down to your own abilities to do what you want. We believe in the power of sharing and doing good for the community.”
Au’loni Magazine would like to thank Rachel and Sarah Stanton for taking the time to share their tremendous journey. We wish them the best of luck in their continued success. You can follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be sure to visit their website http://fruitstrologyco.com/ to determine which fruit best describes you.
Eric Crescenti is a senior student at Temple University graduating in May 2015. He is currently majoring in Media Studies and Production with a focus in Business and Entrepreneurship. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @eric_cresc10