Fresno, Calif.-based 1st Quality Produce plans to produce more than 1 million fruit and vegetable snack packs per month for schools in the San Joaquin Valley.
“It’s about a 15% increase over last year,” said Falina Marihart, marketing director.
School start times vary by district, but processing and distribution were expected to reach full capacity by mid-August.
1st Quality Produce uses various farms in the areas as sources for squash, cucumbers and carrots. Local growers also supply nectarines, grapes and strawberries, among others.
The processor and Fresno Unified School District, for example, have supplied free fruits and vegetables to children in low-income areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Packaging features a cartoon character, Tommy Tomato.
The wholesale company is a fresh-cut processor and produce distributor. It’s audited annually by Primus Labs for good manufacturing practices, food safety requirements and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans.