NEW ORLEANS — Exhibitors donated more than 373,000 pounds of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers displayed in Fresh Summit 2013 booths to a New Orleans food bank.

PMA exhibitors donate 373,000 pounds of produceNearly 250 food bank volunteers worked throughout the night Oct. 20 collecting the food for distribution to the region’s needy via the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.

The donation from Produce Marketing Association exhibitors is the largest produce donation the food bank has ever received, according to a news release.

“This is an unprecedented donation, in its size, quality and healthy profile,” Natalie Jayroe, the food bank’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “Our member agencies are excited about the additional opportunity to distribute fresh produce to families throughout south Louisiana and will be able to prepare healthier meals for their loved ones.”

Bryan Silbermann, PMA’s president and chief executive officer, praised the Fresh Summit host city.

“The opportunity to help provide local residents with fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables is just a small token of all of our appreciation,” he said in the release.

Since 2007, Fresh Summit food bank donations are at more than 1.6 million pounds of fresh produce.