Fresh Summit Exhibitors Donate 250,531 Pounds of Fresh Produce to Hurricane Victims
- by Jessica Donnel
ORLANDO, FL - After this year’s Fresh Summit, PMA donated fresh, healthy fruits and veggies to food banks around Orlando and the Florida Panhandle, thanks to the generosity of those produce companies who attended the trade show.
“This industry has a longstanding history of helping those individuals and communities in need, especially those affected by natural disasters we’ve seen the past two years,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “Once again, Fresh Summit exhibitors have answered the call and generously donated multiple trailer loads of fresh produce and floral items to local food banks and other relief agencies. It’s incredible to see this happen every year, and I’m proud to be a part of their efforts to grow a healthier world.”
Hundreds of exhibiting companies donated 250,531 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and to food banks serving hurricane victims in the Florida Panhandle. The food was donated directly from the show floor at the Orange County Convention Center.
“The Orange County Convention Center staff takes great pride in hosting shows that want to leave Central Florida a better place than when they arrived,” said Yulita Osuba, the Center’s Deputy Director. “Knowing that these donations will not only go to locals in need, but to our fellow Floridians in the Panhandle, only furthers the reach of our sustainability mission here at the Center of Hospitality.”
According to a press release, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida works to close the gap of unmet need in Central Florida by feeding, empowering, nourishing, and engaging the community to help end hunger. The food bank partners with 550 feeding partners in Central Florida, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, daycares, and more.
Last year, PMA partnered with Feeding America to send donated produce to Gulf Coast and Florida food banks to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey. This year, PMA is partnering once more with Feeding America to send donated produce to victims of Hurricane Michael.
“We are so pleased to receive this gift from the exhibitors at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo and members of the fresh produce and floral supply chain,” said President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Dave Krepcho. “1 in 6 Central Floridians are struggling with the reality of hunger and Second Harvest’s mission is to help close that gap. This donation will help us do that with healthy, nutritious, fresh tasting food.”
Each year Fresh Summit exhibitors donate between 250,000 and 300,000 pounds of fresh produce and floral to benefit thousands of residents facing hunger in the region.