posted on November 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Denise Donohue
(DeWitt, Mich.) – Michigan shippers and growers are doing their part this holiday season and donating apples to their local food banks and to other organizations helping those in need. Not only do they supply these organizations with apples, but most volunteer their time year after year.
“Our shippers and growers are dedicated to helping those in need,” said Denise Donohue, Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “They provide thousands of pounds of apples each year to organizations, helping families who are underprivileged.”
Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc. dedicates time, money and apples to help the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. They also contribute donations to the Kids’ Food Basket organization, a force for “attacking childhood hunger in greater Grand Rapids.” Within the last five years, Riveridge has donated 4.5 million pounds of fresh produce to families in need.
Also providing West Michigan with donations is Ridgeview Produce in Conklin. Students from North Park Elementary School make an annual trip to Ridgeview to pick apples for the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. This year they picked 7,635 pounds of apples that will provide a three pound bag of apples to 2,545 families.
South Michigan receives donations from Glei’s Inc. in Hillsdale, with donations to local schools and church groups. Glei’s recently donated apples to a military mother making apple pies for her son’s military unit. Those pies were served at an early Thanksgiving dinner before the military unit was deployed to the Middle East.
“These are a few of the many stories from our growers and shippers who were willing to share information about their donating efforts. Many other growers work with gleaners, and church and school groups. Whether it is a large or small donation, they are helping families in need throughout Michigan,” said Donohue.
For more than 20 years, Michigan Apple growers have been donating to the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM). Last year, growers donated 815,080 pounds of apples. So far this fall, growers have donated 224,984 pounds of apples.
"Apples are one of the more favored crops in our network and provide a consistent source of nutrition, portability for backpack programs for underserved school children, and have one of the longest produce shelf-lives,” said Bill Long, Interim Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. "We are consistently humbled by and appreciative of the support and giving by Michigan's apple growers throughout the state, in both bumper crop and tougher low-yield years."
Michigan is the third-largest producer of apples in the nation, and produced over 26 million bushels of apples in 2011.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world.