( Brooke Park )

News about the produce and allied industry companies pitching in during the COVID-19 crisis continue to pour in.

The following companies are just a few that have been active in meeting the needs of consumers, health care workers and employees inside the industry as well.

D’Arrigo New York

Wholesaler D’Arrigo New York, at Hunts Point Produce Market, Bronx, N.Y., has been making multiple donations every week to help those in need. 

“Although, this isn’t all that different from how it was normally run as a company. However, the amount (of) donations and volume of produce have increased,” Gabriela D’Arrigo, vice president of marketing and communications, said in an e-mail.

Many produce companies at Hunts Point donate regularly to food-rescue organizations, banks and pantries, such as City Harvest.

But during the current crisis, D’Arrigo New York is working with the Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office as well as the city council “to make sure we are tapping into as many areas as possible,” D’Arrigo said.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. wrote several Twitter posts about one such donation April 23.

“#COVID19 has been devastating, but we are #InThisTogether and today’s food distribution at Lafayette Estates was a reminder of that. Thank you to everyone who participated and to @DarrigoNewYork for donating the fresh produce that made this possible,” Salamanca Jr. said in the tweet.

Fresh Del Monte Produce

Fresh Del Monte Produce has donated more than 1.1 million pounds of fresh produce to the Houston Food Bank this year, most of it in April as a response to the pandemic

The company has import operations at the Port of Galveston.

“The Port of Galveston salutes its long-time tenant for stepping up to help families in our region,” Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said in a news release. “Fresh Del Monte’s long tradition of lending a hand in times of crisis is an inspiration to us all.” 

The Houston Food Bank, whose distribution partners include the Galveston County Food Bank, provides food to more than 800,000 people a year in 18 counties, according to the release.

“We’re very proud of the relationship we’ve had with the Houston Food Bank over the years and are pleased that we have this opportunity, especially now during these extraordinary times, to contribute and provide food for so many families in the local community,” Joe Wiley, port manager for Fresh Del Monte’s Galveston facility, said in the release.

Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Houston Food Bank, said Del Monte has also donated supplies in Houston and Galveston to support the food bank.   

Fifth Season

Fifth Season, a Pittsburgh vertical farming company, has changed its business model in the short term, diverting a majority of the fresh greens to charities to help meet the need brought on by the pandemic.

In late April, the company donated about 90% of its production to non-profits in the Pittsburgh area, including 412 Food Rescue, For Good PGH, and Scratch Food & Beverage. The greens went to a local YMCA location, to restaurant workers and public school students and others, according to a news release.

Fifth Season also worked with Pittsburgh restaurant Spirit & Tales to deliver free meals to restaurant workers on Easter.

Progressive Produce

Progressive Produce, Los Angeles, is thanking not only its employees who are unable to work from home — from warehouse employees to truck drivers — but the greater industry, from the growers to the retailers.

“We are proud to say that Progressive's mission has never before shined so brightly,” CEO Jim Leimkuhler said in a news release. “We will all get through this together. In the meantime, keep yourself safe, your family safe, and we look forward to brighter days ahead for all.”

The company has posted a video on its website featuring the company’s employees who are working through the crisis.

Redline Solutions

Traceability company Redline Solutions Inc. has launched a webpage to help people find resources during the pandemic. 

The Caring Resources site offers resource links for everything from businesses, inspiration, mental health and spiritual needs.

“We are all inundated by a continuous stream of bad news about the COVID-19 pandemic,” Redline CEO Todd Baggett said in a news release. “I wanted to put something together to help us all stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.”

Baggett said the page is not all-encompassing, and invites industry members who have a suggestion or a resource to include to e-mail the company at [email protected]

“We will be meeting weekly to review suggestions and screen content to ensure it follows our purpose, then prioritize for our web developer to add items to the page,” Baggett said in the release.

Northeast Editor Amy Sowder contributed to this story.

For more information on what other companies are doing during the pandemic, see The Packer's COVID-19 webpage.

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