BAKERSFIELD, CA — In round three of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box Program, CityServe, a faith-based nonprofit, and Produce Alliance, Inc., one of the nation’s leading produce procurement and distribution companies, and USDA approved contractor, collaborated in a unique partnership to feed families. Occurring from September 22 through October 31, over 54 million pounds of food (1,827,516 food boxes) were distributed to food insecure households in the “Last Mile of Need” in 17 states across the country.
“Produce Alliance set the standard for the USDA Farmers to Families program by providing high-quality food boxes and efficient distribution to the ‘Last Mile of Need’ through CityServe, World Vision, The National Baptist Convention, food banks, and churches,” said Dave Donaldson, co-founder and chairman, CityServe.
Prior to the pandemic, Produce Alliance had a diverse group of customers ranging from restaurants, schools, universities, hotels and airports. Farmers to Families enabled Produce Alliance to put employees back to work and deliver fresh, nutritious food through the supply chain to families who are in desperate need. The well-rounded, scalable distribution model in the HUB to POD supply chain was an attractive avenue for Produce Alliance as they joined forces with CityServe for possibly the most intricate leg of the operation—delivering food in the “Last Mile of Need.”
What others are saying:
Jill Osikowicz, ITOWN Church, Fishers, Indiana:
“Marie had waited in line to get food at a local food pantry, but by the time she got to the front, they were all out of food. Disappointed, she drove home and wondered how her family was going to eat that week. Just then, Marie drove past an ITOWN Feed Your Neighbor event. She got in line, received prayer, and enough food to feed her and her children for the next week.”
Julie Cardinal, New Testament Church, Massena, New York:
“Over three short weeks, we distributed 3,276 Farmers to Families food boxes to our community. We worked with schools in our area to identify the most vulnerable families, and in partnership with other neighborhood churches, we reached over 800 households. It was beautiful to see so many people filled with joy when offered real, practical help through food boxes from church people who cared. We are thankful this was made possible by the USDA, American farmers, food supply companies, and CityServe.”
Produce Alliance Distributor, LaGrasso Brothers:
“The USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program has been truly special. This program helps the foodservice distribution network fully utilize our resources and employee workers in a time of need. By doing this we are providing great American grown and produced products to help feed Americans in need right now and every day. We are thankful that we have been able to help American farmers by buying their products, our employees for the hard work they do to build these boxes, and the nonprofit organizations that can get them in the hands of Americans that need this food.”
Produce Alliance Distributor, Get Fresh Produce:
“At Get Fresh Produce, we feel honored to have been on the distribution side of the Farmers to Families food box program alongside Produce Alliance and CityServe. Knowing each one of these boxes, packed individually by our crew, positively impacted so many people is truly an unimaginable feeling. The USDA program is changing the lives of families, and this brings so much joy to our team at FreshEdge.”
For more information about the CityServe and Produce Alliance collaboration with the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, please contact media contacts to set up an interview.
CityServe is a collaborative network of churches and community leaders connected to help those in need to live better lives. CityServe empowers the local church to fulfill its purpose to overcome despair and transform lives by resourcing them with tangible goods and capacity building. CityServe brings the church to the table to address community challenges by offering long-lasting relationships that lead to transformation and has been designated a “Community of Faith and Opportunity” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since the launch of the food box program, the CityServe collaborative network has distributed over 5 million Farmers to Families food boxes to the “Last Mile of Need.” For more information about CityServe and its initiatives, please visit https://cityserve.us or on social platforms, @cityservehq.
About Produce Alliance, Inc.
Produce Alliance represents their customers to the grower/shipper community, providing access to the highest quality fresh produce under contracts which assure supply while managing cost and risk. They specialize in providing fresh produce procurement and distribution services to food service clients across North America, the Caribbean and beyond. Produce Alliance manages an alliance of 100+ independently owned specialty distributors of fresh products. Each distributor is carefully selected and commits to full compliance with our audited distribution, purchasing, and category management programs designed for client success. For more information about Produce Alliance, please visit https://www.producealliance.com o r on social platforms, @producealliance.
CONTACT: Crissy Cochran, 661-472-7305, [email protected]
Source: CityServe, Official Website