Sunshine Veggies

Dry more, feed more!

Sunshine Veggies dries and transports ugly vegetables from farm to fork, bringing nutritional benefits to families in food deserts.

Use Case

Food insecurity affects nearly 1 out of every 5 people in North Carolina. Many of these people live in food deserts, and lack sufficient access to leafy greens and other vegetables that promote well-being. This not only contributes to malnutrition, but also to the rise in obesity-related illnesses throughout the United States. Sunshine Veggies will collaborate with local farmers by using ugly produce to provide a variety of low-cost dried vegetables to stores in food deserts. Individuals and families in these communities will use these products to fortify their diets with the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle.

Potential

When it comes to produce, America faces a perplexing paradox: while millions in food deserts have no access to nutritious vegetables, at the same time, one in every three vegetables harvested by farmers goes to waste due to its poor aesthetics. By obtaining and drying ugly vegetables, Sunshine Veggies makes vegetables compact, portable, accessible, and affordable to those living in food deserts. Since the dried vegetables shelf stable and more nutrient-dense than fresh produce, it is a better way for people who live in food deserts to have a sustainable access to the vegetables.

Business Case

Sunshine Veggies will obtain ugly, undesirable vegetables that would not sell on a regular market from local farmers. As a non-profit, we can incentivize farmers to donate their produce because it is tax-deductible. Sunshine Veggies will dry vegetables in our facility and then transport them to food insecure areas, where it can be sold at a low price. Small purchasing fees, in addition to grants, will allow Sunshine Veggies to sustain its operations. Sunshine Veggies will start by feeding North Carolina’s food insecure population, but has the potential to expand internationally by forming partnerships with disaster relief and food aid organizations.

Objectives:

  1. Reduce produce waste: rescue unwanted vegetables from farmers who can’t sell them.
  2. Repurpose ugly veggies: dry and transport them to where they are needed most.
  3. Replenish food deserts: fight malnutrition by bringing veggies back to low-resource communities.

Team Sunshine Veggies

Durham, NC, United States of America

Our Team

Our Mission

Sunshine Veggie's mission is to engage the local agricultural market in order to reduce food waste, develop shelf-stable vegetable options, and provide nutritional assistance in food deserts. By working with local farmers and community organizers, we gain a complete understanding of the nutritional resources and deficits of the area. This will increase food availability, accessibility, and affordability in our target populations with scalability for implementation in a wide range of environments.

Our Background

Our team comes from across the world, bridging various academic institutions and disciplinary backgrounds. However, we are all united by our passion for people, and our drive to make the world a better place. Meghana is an undergraduate student studying Body, Brain, and Mind at Duke University, striving to understand how societal structures intersect with individual behaviors in determining health. Ricardo, also an undergraduate at Duke University, grew up in Puerto Rico, where he was driven by his environment to get involved with reducing health disparities in Latin American communities. Kevin completed his undergraduate work at the University of Miami, where we worked for a health outreach program that promoted holistic nutrition using innovative educational campaigns. Now a graduate student at the Duke Global Health Institute, he will begin research with Autism Spectrum Disorder interventions in South Africa this upcoming summer. Wa studied Sociology at Wuhan University in China before recently moving to the US to pursue further education. She is now a graduate student at Duke University in Graduate Liberal Studies focusing on childhood obesity in China. Laura spent years working on a farm in rural Minnesota before coming to study at the Duke Global Health Institute. Her research involves reducing the spread of zoonotic diseases through farm-based interventions.

Our Team

Our Mission

Sunshine Veggie's mission is to engage the local agricultural market in order to reduce food waste, develop shelf-stable vegetable options, and provide nutritional assistance in food deserts. By ...Read More

Our Background

Our team comes from across the world, bridging various academic institutions and disciplinary backgrounds. However, we are all united by our passion for people, and our drive to ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.