Southeast Produce Council Calls for Fresh Produce Donations to Those Impacted by Hurricane Ida; David Sherrod, Andrew Scott, and Barbara Sayles Comment
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES - The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) is calling on our industry to do what it does best—band together and provide fresh produce.
The council shared with its members that, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, there is a tremendous need for fresh produce donations to aid those who have been affected.
"Our hearts go out to the people of Louisiana and Mississippi who are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and tropical storm Larry. As we have seen with other weather disturbances like these, the need for fresh produce and water is great and will be for some time. Our industry has always been quick to come to the aid of others and they are willing to lend others a helping hand," shared David Sherrod, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The members of the SEPC have shown this time and time again and I am proud to be associated with such great people with such huge hearts."
David shared that the council is working with a wonderful partner, the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), to schedule a load to be delivered to Louisiana on Friday, October 29.
"Their network of volunteers is vast and is able to deploy quickly to distribute the produce in areas where it is most needed. Please call our office or email us with any items you would like to donate so we can coordinate the shipment on October 29," David advised. "I would also like to thank ANUK for helping us get the word out to the industry."
The immediate need is for produce with a longer shelf-life of at least one week, such as potatoes, onions, apples, citrus, or stonefruit.
"The Nickey Gregory Company is a huge advocate of the SEPC and their endless support toward multiple charities across the Southeast," shared Andrew Scott, Director of Marketing/Business Development, Nickey Gregory Company, Atlanta State Farmer's Market. "Whenever they call, we are there to help the council and their Godly initiatives. It's sad to see the impact of the recent natural disasters that have displaced so many residents of Louisiana. With the combined efforts of the SEPC and their generous members, we hope that the 41,000 pounds of fresh produce we deliver to that region bring a smile to their faces and nourishment to their families."
The SEPC is arranging three consolidation points for product pickup and is happy to add product to the truck delivery for any that can get fruits and vegetables to one of the below consolidation points by Wednesday, October 27.
- Mack Farms - Lake Wales, FL
- Genuine Georgia - Tifton, GA
- Nickey Gregory Company - Forest Park, GA
It is important to note that SoSA needs confirmation of product donations by Friday, October 22.
"It is hard to fathom the depth of the effect of hurricanes and natural disasters on the people who live through them. The devastation is beyond imagination, people are instantly displaced or homeless, suffer the loss of loved ones, and suddenly watch as all their resources are washed away. And this is not 'fixed' overnight, the recovery is a very long process. We hold them in our hearts and prayers, and God calls us to also take action," said Barbara Sayles, Florida Regional Director for the Society of St. Andrew. "Through our many years of partnering with the Southeast Produce Council, we have witnessed their generous and genuine 'servant's heart.' They are always the first to step up when there is a need, and especially when there are sudden natural disasters like hurricanes and fires. They coordinated with us to immediately send a truckload of water to victims of Hurricane Ida, and then turned their focus to food. Even before the email went out to SEPC members, these members were already notifying us that they had produce to contribute. It is an honor to partner with such amazing folks as the SEPC family that live their faith."
Those who are able to contribute are invited to contact Barbara at (863) 224-0472 or [email protected] to schedule a pickup at one of the consolidation points. Thank you to these generous organizations and to the amazing individuals that make this a great industry to be a part of.