Fifteen years ago, a simple desire to do good sparked a triple score idea that combats hunger, poverty, and climate change.
Mary and Mike McLaughlin founded Trees That Feed Foundation along with Mary’s brother, the late Paul Virtue, on June 6, 2008.
Below are just a few points of progress. Thank you for taking the adventure with us!
In 2009, TTFF shipped its first 72 breadfruit trees to Jamaica from a nursery in Florida.
Now, TTFF has planted more than 300,000 fruit trees in 20 countries! You can see some of them on Treetracker.
In 2013, Mary and Mike met Pierre-Moise Louis, a college student in Haiti. They suggested making breadfruit flour and supplied a manual grinder, along with plenty of advice. Though his factory fit in a wheelbarrow, the young entrepreneur was soon in production. TTFF started purchasing his flour and giving it to schools in the form of an instant porridge mix. Pierre-Moise wasn’t content with just one successful operation. He expanded into breadfruit tree propagation.
Now, Pierre-Moise’s Jeremie Breadfruit Flour and Nursery is thriving despite grim conditions in Haiti. TTFF purchases hundreds of trees from him every month for redistribution. We buy thousands of breadfruit konparets (biscuits) from him for our Women’s Empowerment and School Feeding programs. Pierre-Moise also trains farmers in the best practices of tree propagation, planting, and care. The student has become the teacher. TTFF has empowered many others to launch and grow their own businesses too!
In 2015, with the assistance of engineering students at Northwestern University, Mike designed a hybrid solar dehydrator. The innovative piece of equipment preserves excess fruit by drying it. It can be built with local supplies and does not require fuel or electricity.
Now, more than 20 of these hybrid solar dehydrators are in use in Haiti and Jamaica. Another has been built in Uganda. Approximately 100 pounds of fresh fruit can be dried in it within 4 to 8 hours! For a large-scale breadfruit flour production, this solar dryer is a must.
In 2017, TTFF published Plant a Tree and Good Things Happen, an educational activity book that teaches children the value of fruit trees.
Now, the book has been translated into 9 languages. We have gifted over 15,000 of them, along with teacher’s manuals, to thousands of schools. Our future is better when young people care for the environment.
From supplying food to creating jobs to helping the environment, there’s so much more work that has been done.
Whether it is a donation or an encouraging word on social media, your support means the world to us – and to our beneficiaries. We are thankful to you for walking beside us.
Now let’s keep working toward 1 million trees!