FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Raj Patel, 17, has always loved things that grow -- especially where his family is from.
“We’ve gone on trips to India numerous times. In India, I remember going to my grandma’s house. She used to get mangoes literally from the tree,” Patel said.
It’s part of the reason why the Lambert High School senior and one of his childhood friends got into the mango business.
During the early days of the pandemic, there was an overseas shortage.
Patel helped organize a handful of Florida mango farms to ship the fruit directly to Indian communities across Georgia and five other states.
“We started getting those mangoes in bulk. We take them directly to customers’ doorsteps,” Patel said.
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Over the last three summers, they’ve shipped more than 1,500 boxes and 16,000 mangoes.
Patel sends some of the mango money to India.
His company, Mango United, is working with a charity over there that helps feed children who live in poverty.
“Every time I go there, it’s unfortunate. All the kids in the streets. I don’t think they’re getting a proper education. Knowing I was born in Atlanta, I have different opportunities. I’m passionate about giving everyone an opportunity,” Patel said.
Patel said the effort has helped a few dozen children in India so far. He hopes to one day help hundreds.
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