Produce industry supports breast cancer awareness - The Packer

Produce industry supports breast cancer awareness

07/23/2014 02:19:00 PM
Chelsea Mies

“We feel we have been very blessed in our business. We have family and friends that have been affected by breast cancer in some way. Our community has been very supportive of our family and our business over the last 39 years and we try and give back to show our appreciation.”


Pink pumpkins

The Rocky Ford, Colo.-based Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, started in 2011, has been raising money and awareness for breast cancer since 2012.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization, has growers who grow pink pumpkins across the U.S. The foundation encourages people to purchase pink pumpkins in support of breast cancer awareness.

The pumpkin growers agree to donate a percentage of the price of every pumpkin sold to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation.

The foundation then selects a recipient of the grant money and it is directed to an organization that is involved in breast cancer research, Jen Velasquez, marketing communications manager for Minnetrista, Minn.-based Golden Sun Marketing, said on behalf of the foundation.

The pink variety, Porcelain Doll F1, was developed during cross-breeding research.

This year, the foundation is working on many projects. One is the second year of its Future Farmers of America and 4-H partnership.

The partnership has led to 85 chapters across the U.S. and each chapter will give at least 50% of the proceeds it makes from the pumpkins back to the foundation, Velasquez said.

The chapters grow and sell the pumpkins, not only helping raise awareness for breast cancer, but also teaching children about pumpkin growing.

“Unfortunately, breast cancer is one of those diseases that has affected so many people, directly and indirectly,” Velasquez said.

“As members of the produce industry, we want to be a part of the cure, in any way we can, and by giving funds to these wonderful researchers year after year, we hope we can get closer to a cure.”


C.H. RobinsonRobinson Fresh gives out watermelon during the Twin Cities Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in May. The company also uses its watermelon to support breast cancer awareness with its MelonUp! program.MelonUp!

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson’s Robinson Fresh continues to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating to local breast cancer research organizations through its MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon program. In its seventh year, the program has donated almost $950,000 to the various organizations.

Watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene. The U.S. Department of Health says that scientists have found that diets high in lycopene correlate with reduced incidence of certain types of cancer, said Josh Knox, category general manager.

“Through the MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon program, Robinson Fresh is able to provide retail customers with a unique program that allows them to give back to their local communities and promote watermelon as a year-round, healthy item,” Knox said.

Through the program, the company also sponsors the Twin Cities Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series, which was in May.

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