Following the VIVA Fresh expo, members of the Texas International Produce Association donated 15,403 pounds of fresh produce to the North Texas Food Bank to help needy north Texans.

May 2, 2022
TIPA members donate food to needy north Texans

Members of the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) are working to help needy north Texans improve their diets through a food bank donation. As part of TIPA’s healthy eating campaign, the organization partnered with North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) of Plano, Texas, to donate 15,403 pounds of fresh produce.

The fresh fruits and vegetables contributed should provide 12,800 meals for needing Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex families, according to a TIPA news release. The donation followed the April 23 conclusion of the Viva Fresh Produce Expo in Grapevine, Texas.

The donation is made possible from the 200 companies that exhibited a wide array of fresh produce at the expo. The donation will provide fresh produce for food pantries and meal programs throughout north Texas.

In 2021, the NTFB served more than 125 million meals. The organization provides food assistance and disaster relief to families, children and senior citizens through support from a feeding network of more than 400 food pantries and organizations across north Texas.

“We grow, import and ship healthy produce from Texas to all over North America, yet nearly one million individuals in North Texas alone face hunger and food insecurity,” Dante Galeazzi, TIPA’s CEO, said in the release. “That number grows as you move further around the state. Our organization and our industry members work with food banks not only in Texas, but around the U.S. to provide invaluable access to fresh produce that provides hunger relief back with natural nutrition, vitamins and flavor.”

Today, more than 800,000 north Texans are unsure of where their next meal will come. The number includes 300,000 children, making the NTFB service area the fourth highest level of food-insecure children in the U.S., according to the release.

“The NTFB is proud to be a dedicated provider of food for those in need and this fresh produce donation is a welcome gift that allows us to offer an incredible assortment of fruits and vegetables to hungry neighbors,” Reid Ainsworth, the food bank’s director of food sourcing, said in the release. “Our mission to close the hunger gap in north Texas by providing access to nutritious food continues to be an exciting possibility thanks to the generosity of organizations like the TIPA and their members.”

The NTFB is a non-profit hunger-relief organization that sources, packages and distributes food through a network of more than 200 partner agencies from 13 north Texas counties. It also serves people through various delivery programs, including mobile pantries.

During the last fiscal year, the organization provided access to more than 125 million nutritious meals, a 64% percent increase since the pandemic. In response to the ongoing elevated hunger crisis, NTFB started a $500 million campaign, Nourish North Texas, to provide more food for today and hope for tomorrow by addressing the root causes of food insecurity.

Charity Navigator designated NTFB a 4-Star Exceptional organization. The rating is based on the food bank’s governance, integrity and financial stability, according to the release. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

The Viva Fresh expo started in 2015 to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while promoting the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available throughout the year. Founded in 1942, TIPA promotes, advocates, educates and represents Texas’ $10 billion fresh produce industry.

Photo information: Following the VIVA Fresh expo, members of the Texas International Produce Association donated 15,403 pounds of fresh produce to the North Texas Food Bank to help needy north Texans.  Photo: TIPA

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