Feeding America is pleased to announce a $1.3 million commitment from Target to support the establishment of Regional Produce Cooperatives throughout the country that will increase the amount of produce available for distribution to people in need while also reducing wasted food. The six regional cooperatives will support Feeding America’s network member food banks and their efforts to provide more healthy food options for people facing hunger.
The Regional Produce Cooperatives will enable food banks to receive a greater variety of produce at a lower cost and with more consistency. The Cooperatives create an efficient and effective model to procure and process larger volumes of produce while allowing food banks of all sizes to receive the product needed for their local community.
“There are 42 million people in the U.S. who do not have access to enough nutritious food and are just trying to make ends meet,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “Our goal is to have fresh produce comprise half the food we distribute by 2025. In the past year, we have distributed more than a billion pounds of fruits and vegetables and with Target’s commitment to support Regional Produce Cooperatives, we are moving closer toward that goal.”
“Making better-for-you living accessible and attainable for communities across the country is important to Target and our guests,” said Jennifer Silberman, vice president, corporate social responsibility, Target. “These cooperatives will help strengthen the neighborhoods where we do business, and give more families across the nation access to healthy food.”
To date, six Regional Produce Cooperatives have been established in strategic locations throughout the country to centralize produce sourcing and distribution within in each region:
- Lower Midwest (Indiana)
- Upper Midwest (Minnesota)
- Southeast (Georgia)
- Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania)
- Northwest (Washington)
- Southwest (Texas)
The first new site launched was the Southwest location in summer 2016 and has already shipped 14 million pounds of produce to 21 food banks in Texas. The other locations launched in 2017, bringing this effort to national scale and scope.
The Regional Produce Cooperatives join the existing efforts of the California Association of Food Banks, established in 2004. This network sourced more than 160 million pounds of produce in the past year.
Each Regional Produce Cooperative is member-led and operates one central processing facility to receive, store and distribute large amounts of produce. Furthermore, the cooperatives are able to accept more produce donations, which increases the overall quantity of fresh produce available to people facing hunger.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,816 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit Target.com/abullseyeview or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.