From drive-thru giveaways in the Midwest to hand-delivered donations in Kern County, Grimmway Farms has made it their mission to show support for individuals and families affected by COVID-19 by giving away their fresh carrots and Cal-Organic Farms vegetables. Since the middle of March, the company has donated more than one million pounds of fresh produce to food banks, hospitals and non-profit charities across the country.
Grimmway announced partnerships with Kern County hospitals and California food banks in April. Since then, the company has engaged in relief efforts that have provided fresh produce to families in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah.
After recognizing a need to increase public food assistance, Grimmway team members worked with local and state organizations, industry partners and customers to find creative ways to use existing distribution channels to deliver produce to communities in need. This strategy reduced the logistical footprint of each produce donation, keeping both costs and contact along the supply chain to a minimum.
This spring, Grimmway supplied more than 80,000 pounds of carrots to charity efforts in partnership with Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee. “When we were approached by Hy-Vee, we saw a great opportunity to give back,” said Eric Proffitt, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Grimmway. “We are happy to help when at all possible and the multiple efforts by Hy-Vee and local charities to serve their communities was impactful during this unprecedented time.”
They focused public donation efforts like this around packaged whole carrots as they offer a long shelf life while maintaining their quality. The company also worked with charity networks, including CityServe Bakersfield and Metro World Child, to distribute over 70,000 pounds of whole carrots to urban communities.
Jeff Huckaby, President of Grimmway Farms.
Grimmway also worked with longtime partner Hidden Harvest, a produce rescue program that employs farmworkers to harvest surplus crops in the field and transport the produce from packing houses throughout Coachella Valley, CA.
As the largest of Grimmway’s donation efforts during COVID-19, the company has provided just over half a million pounds of carrots to the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) since the start of the pandemic. CAFB, another longtime Grimmway partner, is a network representing over 42 member food banks reaching 47 counties in California.
Grimmway will continue supporting communities locally and throughout the country as they face the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our founders promised to provide good value and service every day of the year,” said Jeff Huckaby, President of Grimmway Farms. “This year looks different than most, but through strong partnerships and a shared mission to feed the hungry we’re still able to deliver on that promise and ensure fresh food is available to those in need.”