HMC Farms, Kingsburg, Calif., has expanded a program designed to increase consumption among school children.
The Grapes for Schools program and website (https://www.grapesforschools.com/) is a new addition to the company’s initiative to boost consumption among the younger generation. The site is a resource for parents, teachers, school foodservice operators and even students.
HMC Farms introduced “Lunch Bunch” grape snack packs in 1979, Steve Kenfield, vice president of value-added, said in a news release. In the 1990s, the company started sourcing grapes from Chile to offer year-round availability to schools.
“In order for it to become a success, we had to understand how children were having access to fresh fruit and provide the right information accordingly,” Kenfield said in the release. “We have added on to our capabilities over the years and the new website is a continuation of this. We not only want to provide quality fruit, but also the right information with useful tools, and this was the thought behind the new website.”
A good start
Weather has been favorable for grapes in the early season, and fruit quality looks more promising than last season, Kenfield said in the release.
Early grape varieties include Ivory and Krissy varieties, which began full production in mid-July. This is the third year for HMC to offer the Allison variety.
“This is a later, red seedless grape with a great crunch and bite,” Kenfield said in the release. “It's an excellent quality grape which provides a wonderful eating experience and we are excited to offer them again this year."
About 80% of the HMC Farms acreage has been planted in the past five years.
“The weather in the San Joaquin Valley has been excellent to date, leading to the condition of the fruit to be significantly better than at this point last year,” Kenfield said in the release.