COLUMBUS, OH — DNO Produce is excited to announce that President and COO, Alex DiNovo, will attend the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities Kickoff Event on Friday, March 24. Alex will be representing the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) and the IFPA’s Foundation for Fresh Produce, where he serves as Chairman-Elect. He will join eminent speakers, including Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Ambassador Susan Rice, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra, renowned humanitarian Chef Jose Andres, Members of Congress, and other public and private sector stakeholders. The Foundation for Fresh Produce aims to change the trajectory of human health improving access to produce and driving consumption.
In September, the White House hosted the first Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in more than 50 years. During the event, a National Strategy was unveiled, setting out five crucial pillars to improve food access and affordability, integrate nutrition and health, empower consumers to make healthier choices, support physical activity, and enhance nutrition and food security research – with the end goal of ending hunger, reducing diet-related disease, and increasing physical activity by 2030.
Friday’s event will serve as a continuation of the Conference, marking the next round of work to achieve the National Strategy. DiNovo will discuss IFPA’s 8-Point Produce Plan for a National Nutrition Strategy, specifically speaking to the need to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) to all low-income elementary, middle, and high schools. FFVP is a USDA-funded in-classroom program that provides a variety of fresh produce snacks to elementary school students outside of designated school mealtimes, increasing both produce consumption and awareness in public schools.
DNO is also proud to have committed to the White House Conference goals through private partnerships that complement existing federal nutrition programs, like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Thanks to a White House listening session last summer, company leadership connected with the Food Education nonprofit Pilot Light. DNO affiliate FRESHEALTH joined forces with Pilot Light to launch a brand-new FFVP educational toolkit: SnackTime Explorers. This cross-sector collaboration leverages the strengths of both industry and nonprofit organizations to bridge the gap in implementation for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program.
DNO has passionately championed child nutrition policies that provide school children with greater access to fresh produce on a daily basis. DNO was named IFPA Industry Advocate of the Year in 2022 for its work engaging in grassroots and industry public policy initiatives and initiating collaborations with elected officials and policy makers.
However, DNO recognizes that simply providing physical access to fresh produce is only a starting point. The company takes pride in its efforts to introduce a diverse range of produce options to schools, featuring exciting and unique items such as kumquats, ugli fruit, and rainbow cauliflower, as well as traditional classics like apple slices, orange wedges, and baby carrots.
The White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities Kickoff Event will be streamed online and is available to watch at the following link: https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/white-house-conference-hunger-nutrition-and-health.
About DNO Produce
Committed to Healthy Made Easy, DNO Produce is a bulk and fresh-cut produce provider based in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1989, the family-owned company provides fresh, healthy, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables across seventeen states. DNO’s FRESHEALTH product line offers individually packaged produce for school nutrition programs, food service operations, retail grab-n-go, and meal kit offerings. For more information visit, www.dnoproduce.com.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, FRESHEALTH provides ready-to-eat produce for school districts across seventeen states. More than apple slices and baby carrots, the fresh-cut processor is known for offering innovative, new-to-market products. Crinkle-cut cucumbers, watermelon radish, jicama sticks, and golden kiwi introduce kids to the exciting world of fruits and veggies in an approachable, kid-friendly format.
About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to take action with purpose and confidence.
About the Foundation for Fresh Produce (FFP)
The Foundation for Fresh Produce’s (FFP) vision is to grow a healthier world by changing the trajectory of human health. We believe the produce industry has the potential to provide solutions for many of the world’s greatest health and economic challenges – especially those surrounding nutrition and hunger. The Foundation focuses on improving the appeal of fruit and vegetables as an integral part of people’s diets, supporting the development of infrastructure and supply chain solutions that provide easier access, and establishing strategic alliances that enable children and families to form healthier eating habits. To galvanize the industry efforts to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, the Foundation for Fresh Produce merged with the Produce For Better Health Foundation (PBH) in January 2023. PBH programming (inclusive of the Have A Plant® Movement) continues under FFP, dedicated to helping consumers live happier, healthy lives by eating more fruits and vegetables every single day.
About Pilot Light
Pilot Light is a 501(c)(3) Food Education nonprofit organization that supports educators as they teach their students to advocate for informed food choices, bridging the lessons they learn in the classroom to the foods on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities. Learn more about Pilot Light at PilotLightChefs.org.