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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Caribbean Produce Exchange Receives $107-Million through Farmers To Families Food Box Program

May 18, 2020 | Perishable Pundit

The Caribbean Produce Exchange recently won a $107 million USDA Farmers to Families Food Box contract. We thought we would check in and see how this new contract was going to be executed.


United Fresh Produce Association Applauds Introduction of Bill to Increase Fruits and Vegetables in WIC

May 6, 2020 | PerishableNews

United Fresh Produce Association applauds the introduction of the WIC Benefit Flexibility During COVID-19 Act which will increase the cash value benefit for fruits and vegetables in the Women, Infants, and Children’s program (WIC) to $35 month through the end of September 2020.


NatureSweet® Tomatoes Invests in Associates, Donations, and Safety Amidst COVID-19

May 5, 2020 | And Now U Know

This time of turmoil has seen the team at NatureSweet® Tomatoes in constant motion, supporting its frontline associates, families, and communities with a multitude of moves since March.


How school kitchens have become emergency food hubs during the pandemic

May 4, 2020 | Today Show

Katie Wilson, executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance, tells TODAY’s Al Roker how school districts are spending millions to feed people during the pandemic.


With schools shuttered, districts struggle to feed students and communities

April 27, 2020 | PBS

In the weeks since stay-at-home orders meant to curb the coronavirus outbreak took effect across the United States, school districts serving the country’s most vulnerable children faced a particular challenge: feeding their students.


Bay Baby Produce Donates Regionally & Nationally

April 21, 2020 |

At Bay Baby Produce, inc. we are grateful to be able to continue to serve community non-profit organizations locally, regionally & nationally through our annual food waste campaign. While approximately 10% of food waste ends up in landfills; our team strives to partner with organizations to reduce food waste and feed Americans.



April 17, 2020 | WUSA9

All across the country, school buildings and cafeterias sit empty. Many students are at home, continuing their education through distance learning. But those schools are still making sure the students have the nutrition they need during this pandemic. In Prince William County, the schools want to make sure everyone knows the faces of the heroes feeding those students.


US schools to get produce assistance

April 17, 2020 |

The United Fresh Produce Association has partnered with the US non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) to connect produce distributors to school foodservice authorities requesting single-serve, individually wrapped produce as part of their Covid-19 meal distributions.


Suntreat donates Sumo Citrus to NYC food bank

April 16, 2020 | The Packer

Suntreat Packing & Shipping Co., Dinuba, Calif., has donated Sumo Citrus to New York City, the hotspot for COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. The company usually turns to Kern County, Calif., agencies to fulfill its mission of helping to alleviating hunger and provide food to those in need, according to Rick Johnston, executive vice president of sales and marketing for AC Foods, of which Suntreat is a division.


West Pak donates avocados to food banks

April 16, 2020 | The Packer

West Pak Avocado, Murrieta, Calif., is donating pallets of avocados during pandmeic As part of its West Pak Cares community program, the company is donating pallets of avocados each week through June to Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino through June.


Lisa McNeece, United Fresh Start Foundation Chair, Shares Details of the United Fresh Start Grant Program

April 15, 2020 | And Now U Know

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.


United Fresh Start Foundation Awards $25,000 Through COVID-19 Donation Program to Help Kids and Families

April 14, 2020 | Food & Beverage Magazine

The United Fresh Start Foundation has infused the fresh produce industry with 25 $1,000 COVID-19 Rapid Response FRESH Grants to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children and families in need, while also creating opportunities for foodservice distributors experiencing lost markets due to the restaurant, hospitality, and school shutdowns.


Del Monte, Port of Hueneme expand fresh produce donations

April 14, 2020 | Blue Book Services

Del Monte Fresh Produce (Del Monte), a top fresh fruit and produce customer at the Port of Hueneme, delivered a full truck load of fresh fruit to the City of Oxnard, helping those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.


Wild About Sprouts gives 6,000 cases to California food banks

April 13, 2020 | The Packer

Rä Foods Wild About Sprouts, Sacramento, Calif., donated more than 6,000 cases of fresh produce to Sacramento, Yolo, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Driscoll’s gives $4 million globally during COVID-19 pandemic

April 9, 2020 | The Packer

Driscoll’s plans to donate more than $4 million globally, with funds to health clinics and food banks, fresh berry donations and community resources in response to the worldwide pandemic.


Retailer provides $5M donation to food banks, community charities

April 8, 2020 | The Produce News

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will provide $5 million in gift cards to certain food banks and community charities, including Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest and Community Food Centres Canada. Due to COVID-19, these groups are seeing growing community hardship, while also addressing the challenge of social distancing and increased food safety measures. Some are increasingly relying on grocery and drug store gift cards to help community members in need.


United Fresh Foundation grants fund donations during crisis

April 6, 2020 | The Packer

The United Fresh Start Foundation has started a new program to increase access to fresh produce for children and families, while creating opportunities for foodservice distributors during the COVID-19 crisis.


Cafeteria workers need support during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 5, 2020 | USA Today

The halls of K-12 schools across the country are eerily quiet, as teachers and students stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Yet cafeteria workers are reporting to work, figuring out innovative ways to serve children free, nutritious school meals in the middle of a pandemic that has caused unprecedented job loss and economic upheaval.


A million bananas: Chiquita pitches in during crisis

April 2, 2020 | The Packer

Chiquita Brands International, working with Feeding America, the YMCA, school districts and hospitals, has donated a million bananas during the COVID-19 crisis.


Rainier Fruit, Along With T&G Global Donate Jazz Apples to Local Schools Amid National Quarantine

April 2, 2020 | Perishable News

In light of national, state and local quarantines related to the coronavirus, Rainier Fruit and marketing partner T&G Global have donated more than 12,000 apples and 26,000 plastic bags to the Selah School District to support their “Meals on the Move” program that is preparing and delivering more than 3200 daily meals to local students.


Michigan apple industry donates apples to students

April 1, 2020 | The Packer

Michigan apple grower-shippers, marketers and processors are donating fresh and sliced apples to school district meal pick up sites throughout the state. With schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the donations will ensure children receive healthy meal options, according to a news release from the Lansing-based Michigan Apple Committee, which is coordinating the effort. The Food Bank Council of Michigan also is cooperating.


United Fresh partners with School Meals That Rock during COVID-19 school closures

March 31, 2020 | United Fresh

United Fresh wants schools to know that produce foodservice distributors have produce that’s looking for a home, during the COVID-19 crisis. Andrew Marshall, United Fresh’s Director of Foodservice & Foundation Partnerships, coordinated this interview with Dayle Hayes, co-creator of the School Meals That Rock community, to ensure this network of more than 12,000 school nutrition professionals knows they should call their produce distributor to see what’s available for purchase, or in some cases, donation.


WP Rawl stays committed to ensuring access to farm fresh leafy greens amid COVID-19 crisis

March 30, 2020 | WP Rawl

Team members in the Plant Operations department at WP Rawl talk about how they and their teams are working to continue producing the best farm fresh leafy greens every day.


Food Lion to donate 6 million meals amid COVID-19 outbreak

March 31, 2020 | The Produce News

Food Lion Feeds is donating $600,000, the equivalent of 6 million meals, to COVID-19 hunger relief efforts. Of that, $500,000 will be donated locally to community partners in the towns and cities Food Lion serves to help feed students who depend on receiving nutritious meals at school, seniors with limited resources and other neighbors in need impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The additional $100,000 will be donated to Feeding America to support its overall COVID-19 response efforts.


Ag Challenge to address needs brought on by COVID-19

March 31, 2020 | The Produce News

John D’Arrigo, chief executive officer, president and chairman of the board for D’Arrigo California, is partnering with the Grower Shipper Association Foundation/Ag Against Hunger to create an ag industry-designated charitable giving opportunity. The goal is to help individuals and families who are struggling from food insecurity and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Oxnard Growers Participate in the Oxnard School District Food Distribution Program

March 30, 2020 | And Now U Know

As demand for fresh produce spikes in the wake of COVID-19, California companies like Bobalu Berries, Chuy & Sons, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, and San Miguel Produce are seeing an unprecedented uptick in produce sales. Each of these companies are working tirelessly to meet the needs for both their customers and the shoppers that peruse their shelves.


North Bay sends apples to schools, food pantries during crisis

March 27, 2020 | The Packer

North Bay Produce, Traverse City, Mich., is continuing its food donation program as the COVID-19 crisis widens. The cooperative of more than 30 growers has donated apples each spring for the past 10 years to Food Rescue, which supplies charities with food every day.


New produce delivery program supports local farmers, hires laid off employees

March 26, 2020 | Cola Daily

The coronavirus crisis has brought many challenges, including the best way to get groceries without risking contagion. Meanwhile, farmers are seeing their crops die in the fields and workers are being laid off because some of their largest customers have shut down. In the Midlands, FoodShare South Carolina and Senn Brothers produce company saw those problems and found a solution that’s a win for all involved.


IUSD partners with non profits to hand out free produce to Inglewood residents

March 26, 2020 | abc news

Inglewood Unified School District announced earlier this week that schools would be closed for the next two weeks, but they also announced that they would be distributing meals daily at seven different locations to students ages two to 19.


A ‘godsend’: Greensboro giveaway helps about 10,000 people in need because of COVID-19 crisis

March 25, 2020 | Greensboro News & Record

About 10,000 people descended on a produce giveaway Wednesday, soberly reinforcing how much area families are struggling to make ends meet as the coronavirus crisis drags on.


The Challenges of Feeding Hungry School Kids in a Time of Crisis

March 25, 2020 | Public Media Group of Southern California

The truth is, it’s hard to feed kids on average days. From pandemics to natural disasters, a crisis only amplifies the challenges school food programs face regularly. The last couple of weeks have demonstrated this, as people and systems respond to COVID-19 and its many unprecedented challenges.


How major US cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are feeding hungry students amid Coronavirus

March 24, 2020 | MSN

To keep feeding students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, major school systems like those in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago have created systems to provide free meals.


Sunkist Growers Donates Fresh Citrus Fruit to California Communities

March 24, 2020 | And Now U Know

Citrus, full of delicious immunity-boosting vitamin C, is essential in our daily lives if you ask me. Sunkist Growers is recognizing that need for many and has announced it will donate three truckloads of fresh California-grown citrus fruit to California schools and food banks.


Bobalu Berries heralds in spring by donating berries to local schools

March 24, 2020 | Blue Book Services

With assistance from the United Fresh Produce Association, the Jones family reached out to the Oxnard School Districts. Quickly, they were able to put a plan in place arranging donations of fresh strawberries to 4,000 elementary school families picking up weekly food packages and thousands of pounds of berries to Oxnard High School District students continuing to eat lunches provided every day.


Local Schools Are Closed, But Much-Needed School Meals are Still Being Served

March 23, 2020 | Kazu

The majority of public school students in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties qualify for free and reduced school meals. With schools shut down everywhere due to the coronavirus, local school districts are stepping up. They’re offering free meals at school sites for all students 18 and younger.


Keany Produce donates to food banks during crisis

March 23, 2020 | The Packer

Keany Produce & Gourmet, Landover, Md., has donated more than $100,000 worth of fresh produce to food banks and other charities during the COVID-19 crisis.


Serving Students Amid Shutdown

March 20, 2020 | The Sampson Independent

During a regular school day, Music teacher Cameron Lauer would have been teaching students music, but his Wednesday was spent directing traffic in the parking lot as parents pulled up to get meals for their kids.


School District Meal Program Rolling Along

March 20, 2020 | The Union-Recorder

Through its first three days the Baldwin County School District’s (BCSD) summer meal program, repurposed for this unexpected time of school closures due to COVID-19, fed about 7,200 meals to around 3,600 kids in the community.


Administrators Try To Serve School Lunch — Without The School

March 19, 2020 | NPR

Many schools are closed around the United States, but many of these kids depend on their schools for free or low-cost meals. School leaders are scrambling to figure out how to get lunch to students.


34 Phoenix-area school districts offering meals during coronavirus closures

March 19, 2020 |

With many schools closing due to the coronavirus outbreak, many low-income families are scrambling to find foods for their children. Many school districts are working on plans to make sure children don’t starve during this outbreak.


Maryville schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to students 18 and younger

March 18, 2020 | The Daily Times

Maryville City Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to area students the last week of March and the first week of April. The school system announced Wednesday it would serve the free meals to students 18 and younger on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning March 24 and lasting through April 3.


Evergreen Public Schools delivers meals to kids

March 17, 2020 | The Columbian

In the predawn light Tuesday morning, dozens of bus drivers, school administrators and volunteers converged on the Evergreen Public Schools bus barn to load up for the day. But in the midst of school cancellations due to the coronavirus, it isn’t students hitting the road. It’s thousands of packets of cereal, milk and fixings for handheld pizzas to keep children fed while cafeterias can’t.


Schools serve more than 20 million free lunches every day. If they close, where will children eat?

March 16, 2020 | Washington Post

In Cincinnati, school officials were trying to figure out what kind of nonperishable meals they could distribute to homeless students, who constitute nearly a tenth of the student body. In New Rochelle, N.Y., where residents have been confined to their homes, the National Guard delivered food to needy students. And in Baltimore, a high school senior was contemplating how he would go two weeks without a school lunch.