Here are the numbers of individual snacks we have produced and delivered, the number of volunteer hours needed to made that happen and other interesting tidbits.
I should note to any accountants in the readership, that there is a lot of work that happens before the product is put in the final bag - which is when we count. We make a lot of applesauce and ground mixture for the fruit leather when we have fresh apples. These products are then frozen and the ground apples wait for time in the dehydrator and the applesauce needs a crew of volunteers to fill, seal and labels the applesauce tubes. Now that we have 3 dehydrators we have been able to increase capacity, so that really helps. So the numbers of volunteers and finished individual snacks is often not directly related.
By the end of December 2015 we delivered our first 653 snacks. They were mostly fruit tubes - cinnamon apple, banana apple and strawberry pear. We also prepared applesauce and put it in the freezer for use later, dehydrated bananas to make tasty banana chips and started to dehydrate apple chips. This was a period of intense learning as we tried to figure out processes, find tools and packaging supplies, struggled with equipment and had to change kitchens and lost our project manager. We did not ask for volunteers until December as we were not ready. Then we were blessed with 2 large family groups who came and helped us believe that this project could work.
From October until the end of December we had 126 hours of paid labour. 90 hours of volunteer labour and 80 hours donated by Fruits of Sherbrooke.
By the end of January 2016 we had delivered 504 packages of apple chips, 490 packages of banana chips, and 1,106 applesauce tubes for an accumulated total of 2,753 individual snacks. We were getting faster, buying appropriate tools and finding more volunteers. To accomplish this we had 41 paid hours, 214 volunteer hours and 93 hours donated from Fruits of Sherbrooke.
By the end of February we had delivered 1250 bags of apple chips and 2260 applesauce tubes for an accumulated total of 6,263 snacks. This was done with 54 paid hours, 103 volunteer hours and 14 hours from Fruits of Sherbrooke.
By the end of March we have delivered 1,792 bags of apple chips and apple leather plus 130 bags of banana chips plus 872 applesauce tubes. Our total number of snacks delivered to date is 9,057. As you can see, the number of apple chips has steadily increased. This is because we now have 3 dehydrators and have contracted to have workers each day to prepare the apples for dehydrating and unload the following morning. To accomplish this we had 68 paid hours, 97 volunteer hours and 42 hours donated by Fruits of Sherbrooke.
By the end of April we delivered 829 Apple chips bags, 284 banana chip bags, 364 applesauce tubes and 474 bags of apple leather. Now the total snacks delivered is 11,011. You can see that production is slowing down as the apple and banana supply is running out. We are hoping to connect with some retail stores in Edmonton to pick up their distressed apples and bananas, so things might change.
The end of June brought the clean and tidy - up of Fruit Stars snacks. This month we delivered the final batch of snacks. Of the 2,133 delivered most of them were apple leather snacks. They will be going to the E4C summer camp programs and we hope to be there for some photos as well as direct feedback from our consumers. So the total for this pilot project is 13,144 individual snacks delivered.
We are now planning for the fall. This involves finding a kitchen that will handle the volume of apples we expect in the fall as our present kitchen does not have the capacity for all the apples we hope to collect. We also need funding. Thanks to Kickstarter we were able to do this pilot and figure out some of the processes, learn about equipment needs, see how much more we need in terms of volunteers as well as the need for staff to anchor the daily production. Lots to do and lots of potential. Please share the story with anyone who you think might be interested,