PMA Exhibitors Donate Fresh Produce to Monterey County Foodbank Post-Expo
- by Anne Allen
MONTEREY, CA - For those of us who attended Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Foodservice Conference and Expo in Monterey, California, I think it’s safe to say we were blown away by both the number of exhibitors and the products they were offering. Here to blow us away again, PMA announced that a number of these exhibitors did their part to fight back against hunger by donating fresh fruits and veggies from the event to the local foodbank.
Exhibitors donated 26,354 pounds of fresh produce to the Food Bank for Monterey County—a nonprofit organization that collects, stores, and distributes donated food to one in five residents in the county, according to a press release.
“Every year, our Foodservice Expo exhibitors give back to Monterey and its surrounding communities an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is just one of many examples of our industry helping those in need,” said Cathy Burns, PMA CEO. “It is an incredible feeling to see exhibitors and the food bank come together to provide nutritious fresh produce to those who don’t have easy access to it. It is humbling and inspiring, and I thank our exhibitors for their generosity and the food bank volunteers for their energy in making this annual donation happen.”
Over seven million pounds of food are distributed annually to the Food Bank for Monterey County, which is a member of Feeding America, a national network of more than 200 food banks that help feed people across the United States.
“Through our food diversion programs with Ag, the Food Bank for Monterey County is able to provide access to the healthful foods our residents need most. They can consume balanced diets and maintain health; families are stabilized, seniors maintain independence, and children can learn,” said Melissa Kendrick, the food bank’s Executive Director. “When such a large swath of the community—over 34 percent is hungry—it has a detrimental effect on the economy, schools, workplaces, healthcare system, and neighborhoods. By nourishing these residents, we, along with our generous Ag partners, are improving outcomes not only for their health but also the larger health and quality of life of the entire community.”
The county food bank’s feeding partners include emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelter programs, senior programs and more, and 95 percent of all donations to the food bank go directly to their food assistance programs.
Thank you to all who participated!