Fresno food business pivots to farm fresh boxes to survive pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresh nectarines and peaches are coming to the line inside Food 4 Thought LLC's warehouse in central Fresno.

"The fact that they know they're getting it right out of the field without a sticker. That makes a huge difference. We can tell them where they came from, who the farmer is when it was picked, where it is grown," said Loren Werth.

Loren Werth started his business in 2008 geared toward helping kids across California eat healthily.

The pandemic halted his school nutrition programs.

"Since COVID started, we've had to flip and do contact-free home deliveries and pop-up markets to keep going," Werth said.

Food 4 Thought LLC sells community-supported agriculture boxes of seasonal produce and serves Fresno, Coarsegold and Oakhurst.

Werth's goal is to work with small and medium farmers.

"They don't have enough sources as well to get it out. Guzman Farms who picked these beautiful peaches and nectarines yesterday that are here today. They do 12 farmer's markets in La County to keep going," Werth said.

Guzman Farms of Exeter says the partnership is a win-win for them.

"For us, it's very beneficial just for the fact we know if we don't sell the fruit, it's going to go to waste," said Daniel Guzman.

Werth says while his business is afloat, he has big dreams for the future.

"To get back to normal. To keep doing nutrition education on school campuses. Talk about math, history and science. Where it comes from, how it's grown, how the weather affects the fruit, why it's important to support small family farms," Werth said.

It's a fresh business celebrating the bounty of California and the people behind it.

You can support California growers and a local business. Food 4 Thought sells its produce with orders online, at its warehouse and at Fresno Street Eats on Friday at Manchester Center. It's fresh fruit from the farm to your table.

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