Hundreds of Fresh Summit exhibitors donated food from Fresh Summit expo booths to Florida food banks. Dan Canales of Ippolito International, shows off Royal Brussels sprouts and Brussels sprouts chips. ( Amelia Freidline )

Thanks to a record number of exhibitors on the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit expo floor — more than 1,200 — food banks in Florida serving hurricane victims and others are receiving more than 250,000 pounds of fresh produce.

According to PMA, food banks in the Orlando area, where Fresh Summit 2018 was Oct. 18-20, are receiving some of the 250,531 pounds of fruits and vegetables donated, as well as Florida Panhandle food banks serving Hurricane Michael victims, through Feeding America.

The fresh produce went from the Orange County Convention Center directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Feeding America, according to a news release.

“This industry has a longstanding history of helping those individuals and communities in need, especially those affected by natural disasters we’ve seen the past two years,” PMA CEO Cathy Burns said in the release. “Once again, Fresh Summit exhibitors have answered the call and generously donated multiple trailer loads of fresh produce and floral items to local food banks and other relief agencies.”

After Fresh Summit 2017 in New Orleans, PMA partnered with Feeding America, sending donated produce to Gulf Coast and Florida food banks for victims of Hurricane Harvey, according to the release.

“Knowing that these donations will not only go to locals in need, but to our fellow Floridians in the Panhandle, only furthers the reach of our sustainability mission here at the Center of Hospitality,” Yulita Osuba, deputy director of the Orange County Convention Center.

 
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