As a longtime and committed partner of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Feeding Florida’s network of food banks, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, is working closely with Florida growers to deploy the necessary resources to recover and move food and supplies quickly and efficiently throughout the state to families in need.
In March, an estimated 5 million pounds of produce was distributed within Florida and throughout the Feeding America national network of food banks. Florida growers are putting together boxes of mixed fruits and vegetables so harvested produce can move and packing lines can continue. Food banks are buying and moving these products to areas of need in and out of the state. Florida growers work tirelessly to grow nutritious food to feed our country even in this unprecedented time.
In the last week, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida rescued 160,000 pounds of fresh Florida grown produce, including carrots, corn, cabbage and watermelon. These items were received and distributed throughout the local network of feeding partners, including emergency food pantries and mobile food drops.
There is always a limit on the quantity of produce food banks can accept because storage is an issue for perishable products such as fruits and vegetables, and COVID-19 has put even more pressure on that supply chain. To increase the number of perishable products that Feeding Florida can recover, food banks are developing innovative approaches to extend the shelf life of these products and partnering with businesses throughout the state who can support our distribution endeavors.