Lisa McNeece, United Fresh Start Foundation Chair, Shares Details of the United Fresh Start Grant Program
- by Anne Allen
WASHINGTON, DC - The entire industry is working as fast as possible to ensure that families have access to fresh produce. United Fresh announced last week its COVID-19 Rapid Response FRESH Grants, all provided by the United Fresh Start Foundation, would soon go out to 25 produce companies and foodservice distributors who would provide fresh fruits and vegetables to schools, community groups, and other emergency feeding sites for those in need.
In a letter to the industry, Lisa McNeece, Vice President of Foodservice and Industrial Sales at Grimmway and Chair of the United Fresh Start Foundation, issued the following statement:
“During this time of crisis, I’m pleased to share a ray of sunshine telling you about the 25 recipients of our new United Fresh Start Foundation grants. Due to the generosity of those who were willing to donate their early registrations for this year’s convention to the Foundation, we’ve been able to support 25 produce companies in getting fresh produce to their communities in 18 states and one Canadian province! The 25 grant recipients are providing fresh fruits and vegetables to children and families in need, reaching them in school curbside distribution sites, community centers, and other emergency feeding sites. Thank you to these produce heroes working to broaden access to fresh produce in their communities, despite their own economic hardships.”
Several of the grant recipients have already shared their responses to United Fresh’s generosity.
“When you know what the right thing to do is, it is important that you move forward and do it wholeheartedly—that’s what DNO Produce always strives to do,” remarked Alex DiNovo, President and COO of DNO Produce, which is donating fresh produce to Communities in Schools and working with the Southwest City Schools in Grove City, Ohio.
Jose Monreal, Finance and Human Resources Director of Brothers Produce of Dallas, added his own appreciation.
“We are so glad to be able to provide our underserved community with access to fresh fruits and vegetables to help ease their burden of bringing food to the table,” Monreal said.
His company is donating fresh produce to hundreds of families that are part of the local community served by Range Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas.
Zafar Produce is using its grant funds to help serve hundreds through its local food bank.
“The Food Bank of Hudson Valley was ecstatic to receive our bananas, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, and avocados,” said Tom Brandt, Director of Real Estate. “We’re thrilled that we took advantage of this opportunity to give back to our local community and we will be looking for additional opportunities to serve them in the future.”
To see the list of all grant recipients, click here.
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