As the need in the nation continues to grow, produce companies continue to step up and provide donations of fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks, schools, and other outlets that are working to try to maintain the general public’s food security.
Working with retailers in 26 states
One of these companies is Starr Ranch Growers who donated pallets of fruit to food banks, schools and other organizations in partnership with retailers in 26 states, including Washington state, to meet growing demand. The company’s fruit donations were also featured in a Today Show segment on the immense need encountered at the San Antonio Food Bank, which can be viewed here.
Starr Ranch Growers CEO Brett Reasor.
Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to Texas families
Village Farms International Inc. is also helping out in Texas, and is working to feed over 10,000 families with donations throughout the state to local food banks and food pantries. Demand for donations has been higher than usual due to the COVID-19 crisis and Village Farms has been stepping up their donations of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to meet this need. Over the last 2 weeks Village Farms has donated over 10 truckloads, equivalent to approximately 400,000 pound or 200 tons of fresh produce to numerous organizations who distribute food to help feed those in need.
Dr. Caroll Marr, Senior Pastor at South Cliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas said: “I want to express a great appreciation for Village Farms and the massive impact they have had on the lives of thousands of people weekly here in North Texas.” Pastor Marr recounted how every day by 4:00 pm there are hundreds of cars lined up across four lanes in the church parking lot. Pastor Marr went on to say that it has been a learning curve in trying to gear up for the sheer amount of people in need of food but he felt that they had it down to a science now. Pastor Marr went on to say, “It also gives the young adults who have been volunteering an opportunity to help in a meaningful way and allows the older adults to stay safely at home.”
Inland Empire avocado donations
In Murrieta, California, West Pak Avocado is donating pallets of avocados each week from now through June to Feeding America Riverside, San Bernardino, the Inland Empire’s largest and most-efficient hunger-relief organization. The charitable foundation is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks that provides over 4.3 billion meals annually, helping one in seven Americans facing hunger live more secure and stable lives.
“West Pak is giving back to our communities to help feed those in need in a time of crisis,” said CEO Mario Pacheco. “Now more than ever before, people need our help. We have the ability to provide and the desire to step up where we can be most effective. We’re honored to partner with FARSB to do our part, and we implore others to follow suit.”
FARSB provides food to over 200 partner charities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including soup kitchens, pantries, emergency shelters, senior centers, and more. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, FARSB has also begun to serve individuals with fresh produce, snacks, and boxes of emergency shelf-stable items to ensure that families are not going hungry during these uncertain times.
Financial support to No Kid Hungry
Good Foods, announced a $25,000 donation to No Kid Hungry’s coronavirus relief efforts and is seeking the support of the fresh produce industry to contribute, as well. The company will match any contributions made on the linked page of No Kid Hungry’s website up to an additional $25,000.
"At Good Foods, we believe everyone deserves the sustenance of simple, safe, delicious food,” said Kurt Penn, founder and CEO of Good Foods. “Right now, America’s kids need us and it’s a privilege for us to support No Kid Hungry’s plan to feed our nation’s vulnerable children during the current school closures and all year long.”
As millions of children lose the healthy meals they depend on as the coronavirus closes schools, Good Foods made the decision to financially support its charitable partner, No Kid Hungry, to provide emergency grants to schools, food banks and community groups across the nation.
“Supporting No Kid Hungry is an important part of what we do here at Good Foods and there is no better time to support than now,” added Penn. “We’re excited to invite our partners in the fresh produce industry to join us in support.”