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US produce companies donate to alleviate shortages during crisis

Many US companies have announced donations in support of those fighting the coronavirus as well as those who have been negatively affected by the precautions taken to prevent its spread. Companies have donated money, masks, gloves, and food in support. 

Organic banana company funds personal protective equipment
Organics Unlimited president and CEO Mayra Velazquez de León provided an update on the company and its actions to provide financial support to impacted individuals and communities during the COVID-19 crisis:   

“GROW was created to support the communities we impact. During this time, it’s more important than ever to come together as a community, so to that end, we have deployed funds from our Disaster Relief GROW Sub-fund which was designed for situations such as the current COVID-19 global pandemic.

This will help to source additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and respirators for clinic providers to the uninsured and also support the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative, which provides flexible resources to individuals impacted by layoffs and reduced working hours. This can be used by low-wage workers to cover utilities and rent or mortgage during this health crisis to help prevent homelessness and offset the burden on social services.

Organics Unlimited will continue to play its role as a leading international produce supplier by growing and distributing its organic bananas, plantains and coconuts to the United States, Canada, Japan and elsewhere as needed during this ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.”  

Masks and gloves donated in Washington
Sakata Seed America, a breeder and producer for the vegetable and ornamental seed markets, utilizes respiratory masks and gloves as part of the company’s PPE and safety protocols during the seed treating and handling process. Last week, Sakata donated three cases of respiratory masks and gloves to Skagit Valley Hospital campus.
“It’s our social responsibility as a company that calls this community [along with many others] home. We are in this together and are dedicated to doing our part to help fight this any way we can. As an ‘essential business,’ Sakata continues to operate as part of the country’s food chain, supplying nourishment to our nation; however, any other way we can find to contribute, big or small – we will do so,” says Tye Anderson, Director of Production & Logistics for Sakata Seed America.

Right: Tye Anderson.
Sakata plans to assess their needs for internal PPE and will continue to donate masks, gloves and other PPE to the health care system in the other communities in which they operate; some of which include: Santa Clara, Monterey and Yolo counties in California, Yuma county in Arizona, and Lee county in Florida.

Michigan company donates apples
For the past 10 years, North Bay has been donating apples just before Easter to Food Rescue, which feeds most local food banks. “Over the years we have been one of the largest contributors to Food Rescue and North Bay is very proud to be part of this organization,” Ken Korson, Apple Category Manager for North Bay Produce. The shipment of apples is set to arrive on April 2nd and will consist of 462 cases of bagged apples, equaling 20,000 pounds. 

Simultaneously, North Bay will be donating apples to Southern Michigan School Programs beginning Friday, March 27th. This donation will consist of 600 cases of bagged apples, equaling 22,000 pounds. North Bay Produce is planning on continuing this donation process throughout the spring in order to help feed our communities.

For more information:
Patrick Pierce
Tel: +1 (619) 807-0850 

Alicia Suits
Sakata Seed America, Inc.
Tel: +1 (408) 782-5391

Brian Klumpp
North Bay Produce
Tel: +1 (231) 492-7457

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