Anaheim, Calif. – More than 250,000 hungry children, seniors and families helped each month by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County will share in an enormous bounty of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables gifted by the global fresh produce industry. The donation of 228,400 pounds of produce to Second Harvest was made possible thanks to the generosity of fresh produce companies who exhibited at Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit Convention & Expo earlier this month in Anaheim, California, USA. Food bank volunteers collected the fresh produce directly from the show floor at the Anaheim Convention Center.
“Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County truly appreciates the partnership and support of the Produce Marketing Association and the produce industry, collaborating to achieve one of the largest produce rescue operations in our food bank’s history. In total, 228,400 pounds of fresh, premium produce went to feed the hungry in Orange County and surrounding counties while ensuring none of it had to go to waste. It was amazing for our team to see 24 trucks rolling in with a total of 576 pallets that we distributed to our 300+ community partners—who then provided it to those who need it most—in record time!” said Harald Herrmann, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.
“Produce is nourishment. The produce industry knows this best and, by partnering together, we can ensure that it reaches the lives of everyone in our community—and none of it has to go to waste! We must continue this partnership to enrich healthier lives for all,” said Jason Hatcher, Sr. Sourcing Manager, SHFBOC. “Thank you for the support of the Produce Marketing Association and its members who attended the Fresh Summit Convention and Expo. It shows that kindness comes in all forms, supporting our efforts to reduce hunger among Orange County’s 290,000 people in need, by providing equivalent of 190,365 meals. Thank you, PMA and members!”
A member of Feeding America’s nationwide hunger-relief network, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is the largest nonprofit hunger relief organization in Orange County. Second Harvest distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through its network of more than 300 community and program partners like church and school pantries, senior centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, Kids Cafes, and shelters for abused women and children. With the incredible diversity and quality of products at Fresh Summit Expo, this donation may result in people’s first time trying new produce varieties and experiencing the deliciously unmatched taste of fruits and vegetables at peak freshness.
“Each year’s Second Harvest donation at Fresh Summit represents a longstanding tradition among the fresh produce industry of helping individuals and communities in need,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “It’s an expression of this industry’s commitment to growing a healthier world and an expression of the industry’s commitment to sustainability knowing high quality, healthy food will nourish people rather than go to waste.”
Since 1983, PMA has worked with food banks in Fresh Summit host cities to help exhibitors donate fresh produce to communities in need. This gift usually amounts to the largest fresh produce donation these food banks receive all year. In the last 14 years alone, PMA has facilitated post-Fresh Summit donations of over four million pounds of fresh produce. Some years, donations have been diverted to communities experiencing exceptional need. Such was the case in 2017 when donations were also sent to Houston and Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and again in 2018 when a portion of the donation was sent to communities in the Florida Panhandle recovering from Hurricane Michael.
About Produce Marketing Association
Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.