Mangoes to Share Looks to Bring Tropical Fruit to Those Less Fortunate

Categories: Food Charity

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Photo by Hannah Sentenac
If you're sick of eating, seeing, hearing about, and, uh, reading about mangoes, just remember there are plenty of folks who'd love to have mango overload as their First-World problem.

Actually, there are plenty of people in our own backyard who'd be grateful for a food surplus of any kind.

And that's the idea behind Mangoes to Share, a philanthropic endeavor launched by Ania Milaeva. The group is all about distributing our city's excess mango crop to those less fortunate.

See also: International Mango Festival: A Tasting Guide to Casturi, Totopuri, Angie, and More

The idea was born when Milaeva was running past a neighbor's mango tree. Amid an array of injured, insect-eaten fruits lolling on the ground, she spotted a picture-perfect mango. It spoke to her like a beacon of fleshy deliciousness. She picked it up, continued running, and eventually stopped midstride to eat it.

It was then that she wondered, Why so many mangoes left to rot? So she started a Facebook page and rallied some of her closest friends to help find mango donors and volunteers.

"It's so easy," she says. "So many people are contacting us. They say, 'Hey, how did we not think about it?'"

The collected fruits make their way to Camillus House and Miami Rescue Mission, with other charities in the works.

"We're asking for donors and volunteers to pick up the mangoes and drop them off. Donors are most important -- we have five or six people who can pick them up, but the donors are the important materials," Milaeva says.

'Cuz you can't give away what you don't have.

The idea is that the concept can spread to various communities and locals can coordinate, so no one has to drive too far for delivery. "It's not difficult to share," Milaeva adds. "People get organized in the community and just donate whatever they have."

So if you know of anyone with a flourishing fruit tree, Ania and crew are the folks to call. Oh, and with avocado season right around the corner, they'll be accepting those too.

Donors can arrange for fruit pick-up or drop-off, and volunteers are always welcome. To get involved, email mangoestoshare@gmail.com with your name, phone number, return email address, and location and tell them whether you'd like to be a donor, volunteer, or both. You can also check 'em out on Facebook.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.


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