Nick Martinez Highlights Country Sweet Produce and Charitable Giving This Holiday Season
- by Jordan Okumura
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Paying it forward is a year-round philosophy in our industry, and with the fall and winter holiday season upon us, the action is more essential than ever. This is what Nick Martinez from Country Sweet Produce (CSP) tells me as we look back on a recent gesture made by the Bako Sweet® squad in the spirit of giving. The company donated approximately 16,800 lbs of sweet potatoes over Thanksgiving to those less fortunate—one donation was to The LA Reinvestment Foundation in Los Angeles and the other to Love for Thanksgiving 2020 in Bakersfield.
“Now is always our busiest time of year and it’s because sweet potatoes are essential at the dinner table during the holidays. We saw a huge increase in sweet potato demand this year and knew how important it would be for friends and family to gather at the dinner table with some of their favorite fresh produce dishes,” Nick, Director of Operations, shares with me. “Our hope was to spread the joy and comfort that sweet potatoes can bring to any table, large or small.”
Both organizations have become close to the hearts of those at CSP. The LA Reinvestment Foundation feeds the homeless every month and puts on its Turkey Grocery Giveaway each November, Nick expresses, and with Country Sweet Produce being only 90 miles from Los Angeles, California, the team wanted to donate sweet potatoes to complete its grocery giveaway item list.
In order to give back to its community in Bakersfield, CSP searched the local landscape and found Love for Thanksgiving 2020, where it was also able to extend its abundant sweet potato crop to those in need this past Thanksgiving.
“We are proud to grow such healthy food that people can incorporate into their daily meals. This was just another opportunity for us to share that with the community!” Nick reflects. “Everyone has a memory with food, and that memory often feels nostalgic, especially for holiday meals. As people seek familiar meals, we have an opportunity as the fresh produce industry to give back to those who are struggling this year.”
We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Country Sweet Produce team for their amazing donation, continued contributions to elevating the industry, and as always, for paying it forward!