IRVINE, Calif., (April 29, 2020) -- In response to Calif. Governor Newsom’s announcement today of a partnership with the California Association of Food Banks to increase deliveries of fresh produce and other California-grown foods to Californians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:
“We thank Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary Karen Ross for working to boost the state’s Farm to Family Program. The collapse of the food service sector has hit farmers who supply restaurants, schools, universities, hotel resorts and other institutional buyers of fresh produce. Many farmers who planted before the economy was shut down made the difficult decision to abandon their crops rather than double their financial loss by harvesting, packing and cooling highly perishable produce with no market.
“California food banks have experienced a huge spike in demand, and it makes sense to redirect as much of the food orphaned by the economic shutdown as possible to food banks. Our growers recognize this and have more than doubled their donations of berries, baby carrots, grapes and other fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks up and down the state in March and April.
“Given the massive economic harm to farmers in our state, much more relief is needed, but this is a good step forward.”
About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.