C.H. Robinson Honors Western Growers Transportation Program's 10th Anniversary with Giving Day
- by Eva Roethler
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The Western Growers Transportation Program (WGTP) is celebrating its tenth year in existence. C.H. Robinson and Western Growers Association honored the anniversary by hosting a food drive, culminating in a Giving Day held on August 24.
"It was a team effort, and I was blown away by the generosity of the participants," said Luke Gowdy, General Manager at C.H. Robinson. "Ultimately 250,000 meals were donated to those in need. Never in my career have I participated in something of that magnitude."
The idea, hatched by the Western Growers Transportation leadership team, was to demonstrate the power of their partnership through the massive food drive. In keeping with the produce focus of the program, growers were encouraged to donate to Feeding America—either through product or monetary donations. At the end of the day, participating growers and associations donated more than 240,000 pounds of produce, along with financial contributions. C.H. Robinson donated the transportation needed for the event. The donations went to Feeding America locations across the country.
“Thank you to the generous grower-shippers who donated product and monetary donations,” said Matt McInerney, Senior Executive President of Western Growers. “It is rewarding to see how these donations will impact local communities and bring fresh produce to those who may not have easy access to it.”
Rolling out the campaign, designing it, having dialogue with individual shippers, and the final execution required precise coordination by the WGTP, from concept to execution. And the overall success of the donation exemplifies the strength of the relationship between C.H. Robinson and the grower community at large.
"Not only were we able to deliver huge quantities of food, the quality of the food delivered exceeded expectations. Food banks generally received rejected product, and the food banks are very happy with what they are receiving, making this a very unique donation," Gowdy added in reflection of the event.
Since its inception, WGTP has been dedicated to enabling growers to focus on their core competencies: growing, harvesting, and packaging nutritious, fresh produce.