$1 million in fresh fruits and vegetables headed to healthcare responders
Leading fresh fruit and vegetable companies in collaboration with PRO*ACT are donating more than $1 million in fresh fruits and vegetables to benefit healthcare responders on the front lines. The initiative, Feeding Our Frontlines, was created to show appreciation and gratitude to healthcare heroes for their courageous efforts on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. More than 35,000 boxes filled with fresh produce and vegetables are being distributed to healthcare establishments so employees can take repacked boxes of produce home at the end of a long shift. The roughly 12- to 15-pound box can feed a family of four for up to a week.
PRO*ACT established Produce Partners at www.producepartners.org as the information hub. Distribution of the produce will be prioritized to the hospitals that are at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis including New York Presbyterian, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General, and hospitals in 16 other states. Driscoll’s, a leader in fresh berries, was the first company to commit more than $350,000 in berry donations to this initiative. Additional produce companies who are contributing to the effort include Sunkist, Taylor Farms, Dole, Mission, Rainier, Wada Farms, Mann Packing and Grimmway Farms.
Now more than ever, fresh produce companies are committed to feeding the needs of the public. The food and agriculture industry accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation's economic activity and has been identified as one of the critical infrastructures during COVID-19. Growers, farmworkers, transportation providers and grocers are considered essential workers and we are all are proud to contribute to the U.S. economy.
“Our industry is built on successful partnerships. In a time when our communities are coming together to make sacrifices to protect the vulnerable, we are proud to stand with partners committed to providing for the brave,” said PRO*ACT Chief Operations Officer Brian Kane. “Our distributors, suppliers and employees are thankful for this tangible way to support healthcare employees at the end of long, stressful shift. The last thing we want is for them to worry about providing for their families during their daily battles on the frontline.”
“We’re pleased that members of the produce industry have been committing resources during this time of need,” said J. Miles Reiter, chairman and chief executive officer of Driscoll’s. “We are all working together to ensure communities are supported and we’d like to recognize the extraordinary healthcare efforts by giving back where we can.”
The first donation of 300 boxes were delivered to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan where the amazing staff is working around the clock to provide safe and exceptional care to patients, even after multiple staff members dealt with Covid-19 infections. Their efforts are recognized on social media through #MSKHealthcareHeroes.
Distribution of the Produce Boxes will be focused on the cities hit hardest with COVID-19.