( Courtesy PBH )

The Produce for Better Health Foundation has named produce companies, retailers and individuals to its annual awards.

The award recipients usually are honored during the PBH’s Consumer Connection Conference in mid-April, it was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this time of unforeseen circumstances, we wanted to provide a virtual standing ovation to honor our members, influencer partners and other industry leaders who have been true trailblazers in their support to promote fruits and vegetables for happier, healthier lives,” Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO, said in a news release. “We humbly recognize that it takes more than PBH to address what we believe is a chronic consumption crisis.”

PBH recognizes efforts with the Have a Plant Promoter Award, which produce companies, retailers, foodservice and public health organizations, and the Have a Plant’s Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action, which recognizes influencers that spread the Have a Plant movement through blogs and social media.

“Now more than ever, we must be united in our efforts to inspire consumers with the many benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables – the original plants, Reinhardt Kapsak said in the release. “We want to commend and showcase those who are advancing new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as well as the Have A Plant movement.”

The 2019 Have a Plant Promoter Award recipients include:

  • Naturipe Farms
  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits
  • Pacific Coast Producers
  • Ruiz Sales Inc.
  • Stemilt Growers
  • Trade publications, including The Packer.
  • Coborn’s Inc. (retail)
  • SpartanNash (retail)
  • Sysco/Freshpoint (foodservice)
  • Meramec Elementary School Garden Club, Clayton, Mo. (public health)

The Ambassadors in Action awards went to:

  • Valerie Agyeman – Flourish Heights
  • Leslie Bonci – Active Eating Advice
  • Neva Cochran – Eating Beyond the Headlines
  • Beau Coffron – Lunchbox Dad
  • Andrew Dole – Body Fuel
  • Abbie Gellman – Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
  • Cara Harbstreet – Street Smart Nutrition
  • Emily Kyle – Emily Kyle Nutrition 
  • Kristina LaRue – Love and Zest 
  • Adam Rosante – Adam Rosante 
  • Kimberly Schwabenbauer – Fuel Your Passion
  • Lori Taylor – The Produce Moms
  • Jonathan Valdez – Genki Nutrition
  • Manuel Villacorta – Manuel Villacorta
  • Serena Wolf – Domesticate Me

Other award recipients include:

  • Natalie Gillett, ShopRite/Inserra Supermarkets, PBH Retail Dietitian of the Year;
  • Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary enterprises at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, PBH Foodservice Leader of the Year;
  • Manuel Villacorta, of Manual Villacorta Nutrition, PBH Influencer of the Year;
  • Neva Cochran, PBH National Fruits & Veggies Month Advocate.

The 2019 PBH Excellence in Leadership Award recipients are:

  • Matt Middleton, Ventura Foods
  • Jason Osborn, Wonderful Co. 
  • Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers
  • Richard Ruiz, Ruiz Sales Inc.
  • Trish Zecca, Past PBH chairwoman, formerly with Campbell Soup Co. 

The 2019 Have a Plant University Competition winners are:

  • Arizona State University
  • Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn.
  • University of Wisconsin

Information on how to apply for PBH’s 2020 awards is available on the organization’s website