CHP Vying for Fruit Orchard in National

Christiansburg, Virginia - Christiansburg-based Community Housing Partners (CHP) is planning to harvest more than just the low-hanging fruit of its own orchard if all goes well in a national campaign to win a bevy of fruit trees this summer.

The nonprofit organization is excited to announce it has been selected by the Edy's Fruit Bars* brand to participate in the Communities Take Root program, a nationwide initiative to help feed underserved communities and improve the environment. Beginning April 16 and ending August 31, 2012, the brand invites people across the United States to cast their vote to help 17 deserving communities win an orchard this year. CHP, a Community Development Corporation committed to creating green, affordable housing opportunities in the southeast, hopes to be one of the lucky winners.

The public is invited to visit www.communitiestakeroot.com to learn about the eligible organizations and cast its vote for the most deserving ones. All 17 winners will receive a fruit-tree orchard, irrigation system, a groundbreaking party, and plenty of Edy's Fruit Bars to celebrate the new orchard. Also, in order to ensure that every applicant has a starting point to grow an orchard, the brand will donate three fruit trees to all participating organizations that do not win an orchard through the voting campaign.   

Joshua Galloway, a landscape architect at CHP, commented on his organization's participation in the campaign. "All of CHP's services are focused on the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of individuals and the greater community. A productive fruit orchard is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy."

If CHP were to win an orchard, Galloway says, the organization would use it as a test-pilot program for its 80+ affordable housing communities across the region in hopes of promoting agriculture as a viable economic tool, strengthening personal and community responsibility, providing a platform for social interaction and growth, and fostering environmentally-responsible behavior. CHP also plans to share the literal fruits of its labor with the low-income residents living at CHP-owned and managed properties in the New River Valley, where food insecurity is an uncomfortable reality for many struggling with challenging economic times.

"As part of sound environmental practice, our orchard would incorporate locally-adapted trees, natural fertilizers, and integrated pest management in order to demonstrate how productive landscapes can lower maintenance costs while reducing use of water and harmful chemicals. The orchard would also provide food for people and wildlife, while its ongoing maintenance would encourage communal participation and activity," stated Galloway.

"In many communities, there is a huge disparity between the need for fresh fruit and its availability. At Edy's, we are proud to do our part to uplift these underserved communities," said Ritu Mathur, Fruit Bars Associate Brand Manager. "Over the past two years, tens of thousands of people have voted to help us select the locations of these orchards. It's incredible knowing that we've planted 1,600 trees, not only benefitting our earth, but serving as a continual source of food for thousands of people throughout our country who might otherwise have limited access to fresh fruit."

Edy's Fruit Bars is once again partnering with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, and strengthen communities. As an integral part of the Communities Take Root program, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation sources the trees and leads the planting of each orchard. Their dedicated arborist also provides a workshop for each winning community, teaching citizens how to care for their fruit trees so that they will bear fruit for future generations.

"We are honored to be a part of the Communities Take Root Program, both for the fresh fruit created for communities in need as well as the positive environmental impact," said Fruit Tree Planting Foundation's director Cem Akin. "Once mature, the trees planted through Edy's Fruit Bars support will remove 396,800 pounds of carbon dioxide and 12,800 pounds of air pollutants from the atmosphere, while generating 312,000 pounds of oxygen for our environment each year."

Since 2010, the Edy's Fruit Bars Communities Take Root program has planted 1,600 fruit trees, yielding 88,000 pounds of fresh fruit per year for dozens of communities across the nation. To find out more about Communities Take Root and the entire family of Edy's Fruit Bars flavors, visit www.CommunitiesTakeRoot.com.

*Marketed as Dreyer's® Fruit Bars in the western states and Texas.   

About Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream:

Nestlé Dreyer's Ice Cream Company is part of Nestlé USA, and is owned by Nestlé S.A. of Vevey, Switzerland, the world's largest nutrition, health and wellness company. Nestlé Dreyer's Ice Cream Company manufactures, markets, and distributes a full spectrum of ice cream and frozen snacks. The company's premium products are marketed under the Dreyer's brand name throughout the Western states and Texas, and under the Edy's® brand name throughout the remainder of the United States. Brands manufactured or distributed in the United States include Dreyer's/Edy's® Grand, Slow Churned®, Dibs®, MAXX, Fruit Bars, Nestlé Crunch®, Drumstick®, Butterfinger®, Toll House®, Push-Up®, Frosty Paws®, Eskimo Pie®, Skinny Cow® and Häagen-Dazs®. Internationally, the Dreyer's brand extends to select markets in the Far East and the Edy's brand extends to the Caribbean and South America. For more information on the company, please visit www.dreyersinc.com. In the U.S., the Häagen-Dazs trademark is licensed to Nestlé by General Mills.  

About The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation:

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. FTPF programs strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, and international hunger relief sites. FTPF's unique mission, which has been featured in major publications and broadcasts across the country, benefits the environment, human health, and community involvement-all at once! For more information please visit www.ftpf.org.