In a new era of cautiousness and the closure of many restaurants, PRO*ACT distributors are bringing Direct-to-Consumer produce boxes to their communities through partnerships with foodservice outlets, online ordering, and curbside pickup. Customers looking to avoid crowds are ordering pre-packed boxes of fruit or vegetables that will feed a family of four for a week and receive them directly at their vehicle outside restaurants and distributor facilities.
PRO*ACT distributors have also been donating to their community in the form of produce for hospital staff, food banks, and underserved communities, allowing the public to sponsor a box for at-risk members of their community on the website.
"This has been an unprecedented time of uncertainty across the country," said PRO*ACT COO Brian Kane. "We are bringing a degree of certainty in keeping our communities nourished and safe; these produce boxes are meeting that need in a real, tangible way."
In communities hit by foodservice closures and layoffs, keeping restaurants open by partnering with them on a produce box program has proved effective, including in Las Vegas where Get Fresh is working with partners like Rachel's Kitchen, and Wahoo's.
Partnering with our foodservice community to bring customers these fresh produce boxes has been a win for everyone" says Andy Hamilton, VP of Business Development for Get Fresh. "We are supporting restaurants who are staying open for takeout by offering customers a place to pick up a box of fresh produce while avoiding crowds and long grocery store lines."
In addition to the direct-to-consumer options, PRO*ACT is partnering with many distributors to provide bulk order opportunities at senior facilities, churches, food banks, and other community organizations.
In Miami, Jorge Vasquez has his company Freedom Fresh pivoting from daily truckloads of produce for cruise ships to a steady stream of cars in their parking lot for produce box pickups, alongside bulk deliveries to hospitals. "These Produce Boxes have met a need with families, especially our at-risk community, as they've been looking for ways to bring fresh, nourishing food to their table while staying as isolated as possible."
For Seashore Produce serving the New Jersey and New York region, and Family Tree Produce in Los Angeles, providing a way for people to stay both nourished and distant in the middle of metropolitan areas working to contain the crisis is especially relevant. "We're glad we are meeting a need during what has been a challenging time for everyone," shared Family Tree's David Guzman. "We're stronger when we each can do our part, and for the PRO*ACT family of distributors – this has just been an extension of our values."
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