Growing Up Fresh

The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one core mission — to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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A Message from United Fresh Start Foundation Board Chair Lisa McNeece

Apr 14, 2020


April 14, 2020; 6:15 pm EDT/3:15 pm PDT

Dear industry members,

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.

Read what some of the grant recipients have shared with us:

Grant recipient DNO Produce is donating fresh produce to Communities in Schools, working with the Southwest City Schools, in Grove City, OH. “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,” added Alex DiNovo, President and COO.

Brothers Produce of Dallas is donating fresh produce to hundreds of families that are part of the local community served by Range Elementary School in Mesquite, TX. “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,” said Jose Monreal, Finance/HR Director.

Zafar Produce is using their grant funds to help serve hundreds through their 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.”

Here’s the complete list of companies receiving Foundation grants:

Grant recipient Organization/school district receiving fresh produce donation
AeroFarms, Newark, NJ Table to Table
Aloha Produce Foodservices, Bend, OR The Giving Plate, The Shephard’s House Ministries, Council on Aging, and Co Veterans
AM Fresh North America Inc., Glassboro, NJ Glassboro Food Bank
Ark Foods Group, Inc., Brooklyn, NY


City Harvest
Bonanza Produce Company, Sparks, NV Reno Sparks Gospel Mission
Brothers Produce of Dallas, Inc., Dallas, TX Range Elementary (Mesquite, TX)
DNO Produce, Columbus, OH Communities in Schools, Southwest City Schools, Grove City, OH
Freshway Produce, Inc., Atlanta, GA Feeding South Florida
Indianhead Foodservice, Eau Claire, WI Chippewa Falls Area School District
J&J Produce Company, Inc., Hattiesburg, MS Lamar County School District, Petal School District, Forrest School District, Hattiesburg Public School District
J.H. Honeycutt & Sons Inc., Chadbourn, NC Food Bank Central & Eastern North Carolina
Kimball & Thompson Produce Co., Inc, Lowell, AR Arkansas Foodbank
Lancaster Foods, Jessup, MD ALIVE! Food Program (Alexandria VA)
Limehouse Produce, North Charleston, SC Lowcountry Food Bank
Miller Farms, Clinton, MD Capital Area Food Bank (Washington, DC)
Potato Specialty Co, Inc, Lubbock, TX Lubbock Impact
Preferred Produce, Detroit, MI Motor City Mitten Mission
Pure Flavor, Leamington, Ontario Peach County Schools
Sirna & Sons Produce, Ravenna, OH Center of Hope
Southern Colorado Farms, Center, CO Care and Share Food Banks
Specialty Produce, Inc, San Diego, CA San Diego Food Bank
Tropical Sourcing LLC, Livingston, NJ Morris County Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce
Willie Itule Produce, Phoenix, AZ St. Mary’s Food Bank
Worden Farm, Punta Gorda, FL All Faiths Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club Sarasota County and Charlotte County
Zafar Produce Inc, New Windsor, NY Food Bank of the Hudson Valley

I only wish we could have funded more of the companies that asked us for grants. Would you help us ensure programs like this can continue to be available so that kids everywhere are growing up fresh? Make your donation here.

Thank you for your support of the United Fresh Start Foundation!

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