United Fresh Donates Nearly 40,000 Lbs. of Produce to Greater Chicago Food Depository
When the recent United Fresh 2015 annual convention and expo wrapped up at Chicago’s McCormick Place, United Fresh donated 39,019 lbs. of produce and 207 lbs. of assorted dry food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Volunteers helped collect donations from the convention floor, which is filled with fresh produce companies, to benefit those in need serviced by Greater Chicago Food Depository partner agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchen, and other emergency feeding centers.
"United Fresh and exhibitors at the show are proud to support the Feeding America network of food banks," said John Toner, United Fresh vice president of Convention & Industry Collaboration.
He added, “Fresh produce is an important part of a healthy diet, and the donation highlights how the industry is helping those in need each and every day.”
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. This year’s total donation of 39,226 lbs. continues a United Fresh tradition of supporting the Feeding America network after the annual convention.
“The generosity of the United Fresh Produce Association, its exhibitors and partners comes at a time when more than 812,000 people in Cook County need help putting food on their table,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
She added, “The rescued produce from United Fresh 2015 makes an immediate impact on hunger in our community. We are thankful for United Fresh and Feeding America for supporting our commitment to providing nutritious food for our neighbors in need.”
The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger.
Last year, the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 154,000 meals every day.
“Feeding America is extremely grateful to the United Fresh Produce Association, their exhibitor donors, Freeman Company, and all food bank staff and volunteers for their efforts to rescue thousands of pounds of fresh produce from United Fresh 2015,” said Don Harris, director of Produce at Feeding America.
He added, “Fresh and nutritious produce is really prized by our food banks and those we serve, so we are really pleased with the great effort everyone has made to provide this donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.”
With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 3 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. In all, the nationwide Feeding America Network serves about 37 million people in need.