The Florida Fruit Truck

Bringing Florida's fresh fruit directly to the community.

Photo of Dana West
8 5

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

The Florida Fruit Truck is designed to inspire people to try new fruits and juices, and to demonstrate the convenience and great taste of eating fresh healthy foods.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Heart Disease and Diabetes are among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, with the CDC reporting over seven hundred thousand deaths in 2015. These diseases, among others, are preventable with healthy dietary and lifestyle choices. The CDC also reports that Non-Hispanic blacks are 40% more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have high blood pressure and have 77% higher rates of diagnosed diabetes.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The Florida Fruit Truck will improve the health of the community by offering access to affordable, high quality local and tropical fruits, cold pressed juices, and smoothies. The Florida Fruit Truck will be a mobile truck that will vend around the city of Tallahassee regularly, following a set route on weekends that visits various neighborhoods. This way The Florida Fruit Truck will be able to directly connect people with produce from local farmers, making healthy sustainable food convenient. Eating fresh fruits and veggies is a low cost and effective way to nourish the body and help fight against disease. Consuming the whole fruit or cold pressed fruit juice ensures the integrity of the nutrients and live enzymes are preserved so that the body and immune system are supported (not to mention it's delicious). The Florida Fruit Truck will show people in my community that healthy eating is simple, delicious, affordable, and convenient.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

The idea came to me from two experiences: sharing my mother's cold pressed mango, orange, and pineapple juice with some friends I made one summer, and a conversation I had with a cardiologist later that year. My summer friends weren't particularly interested in hearing about plant based food or vegan diets, but they loved the juice and even contacted me a full year later inquiring about it. Remembering a conversation I had with a cardiologist, who told me that fresh fruit juices and smoothies provide a powerful boost to the immune system, I realized fruit juices could be a delicious introduction to simple, healthy eating. Bringing these food and juices to neighborhoods where there are people who are unfamiliar with them or lack access to them could spark an interest in health and fresh eating that could help lower the rates of preventable diseases in my community.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

My project connects local produce and fresh juices with people with a lack of access, showing people how simple, delicious, affordable, and convenient healthy eating truly is.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

With every person who is able to try a new experience or add a new healthy practice to their routine, the Florida Fruit Truck will be making a difference.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I plan to focus on reaching minorities and students in my community through promotional events at the two universities in Tallahassee, Florida State University and Florida A&M University, and at local farmers markets, restaurants, parks, and festivals. Connections with local businesses, shops, restaurants, farmers, and campus based organizations will allow The Fruit Truck to reach and serve the community effectively.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

A food truck and food service equipment and permits

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

The Florida Fruit Truck would like to partner with local student and community run gardens and farms to further support community engagement in health and sustainability.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

instagram @jayversace


Join the conversation:

Photo of Armani Simmons

Florida has most of the best fruit in the country! The fact that you all are taking advantage of that and helping others is amazing!

Photo of Pearl

Dana West I love this idea! Fresh fruits and veggies are something we are trying to introduce in our project. I can't wait to hear what you do!

Photo of Elliott D

Dana West  This idea has a lot of potential. I work on a farm and have seen the amazing impact our fruits and veggies bring to the community. We, too, are in Florida. Most of the year, every saturday we have The Saturday Morning Market. People come from many different cities to our city's market for food, art, music, and the sunny bright atmosphere. I know that markets like our are very competitive and in turn have limits on how many people can sell the same or similar product. (food included). My question for you is how do you plan on bringing your truck to places like this without disrupting the business that local farmers and workers have depended on?

Photo of Ariyan Miller

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

Photo of Brittany Corner

Great Idea!

Photo of Elizabeth Hooper

Great idea and much needed! As far as funds go, have you come up with a budget for the expenses of starting up and maintaining the project? Also, you mentioned educating consumers about the health benefits of consuming fresh fruit juices. What is your plan to ensure they walk away with not just a tasty treat, but information that will impact their overall health and wellness?

Photo of Kim Solem

Strong idea Dana! Would like to hear more about your ideas to get the truck started, raise money, and turn this into a sustainable social venture. Good nutrition is clearly a critical need, and I love how you are bringing good health to those that are not able to find it on their own. Great start; keep up the good work!

Photo of Tyler Vogel

Love this idea Dana West , mobile health food trucks are really taking areas by storm. From my time working at Hennepin Gov that was the thing to do for lunch break. Fresh juices and smoothies is something really needed!