Blog Archives

Criminal charges pending against Ontario raw milk advocates

When provincial agricultural officials in Ontario raided raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt’s farm this past October, they were accompanied by local police. The raid turned into a standoff that ended only when a deal was reached that allowed some samples and computers to be removed, but dropped equipment seizures.

michaelschmidt_406x250

Michael Schmidt

After going through raids and trials for 22 years, Schmidt brings more experience than most to such confrontations. The October raid, however, has resulted in Schmidt and four other Ontario being charged with one count each of obstructing a peace officer.

A warrant for the arrest of George Bothwell of Meaford remains outstanding and the West Grey police public plea for anyone who knows his whereabouts has not helped locate him. Schmidt, Robert Pinnell of Durham, John Schnurr of South Bruce Peninsula, and Enos Martin of Chesley are scheduled to appear in Ontario Court of Justice on Aug 17 for trial.

In addition to the criminal case, Schmidt is defending against civil proceedings in Ontario Superior Court in Newmarket that seek to shutdown both his raw milk distribution and his herd-share operation. Members would be prohibited from encouraging others to drink raw milk.

When Schmidt went to court for that one in March, he had about 300 supporters with him. The court on that day only did some scheduling and set aside some technical issues.

Schmidt was charged in 2006 with multiple counts of both selling and distributing unpasteurized milk and cheese from an unlicensed milk plant and for not following a 1994 order from a public health inspector.

Those charges were eventually dismissed in 2010, but government prosecutors appealed. Schmidt was convicted in 2011 for 13 violations of the Health Promotion Act. He was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $ 9,150.

An Ontario high court judge found cow-share distribution of raw milk does not equate to ownership, which Schmidt claimed satisfied legal requirements. He changed to a farm-share arrangement for shareholders to obtain raw milk.

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Food Safety News

World’s food supply got a little more plentiful: Resistance gene found against ug99 wheat stem rust pathogen

June 27, 2013 — The world’s food supply got a little more plentiful thanks to a scientific breakthrough.

Eduard Akhunov, associate professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University, and his colleague, Jorge Dubcovsky from the University of California-Davis, led a research project that identified a gene that gives wheat plants resistance to one of the most deadly races of the wheat stem rust pathogen — called Ug99 — that was first discovered in Uganda in 1999. The discovery may help scientists develop new wheat varieties and strategies that protect the world’s food crops against the wheat stem rust pathogen that is spreading from Africa to the breadbaskets of Asia and can cause significant crop losses.

Other Kansas State University researchers include Harold Trick, professor of plant pathology; Andres Salcedo, doctoral candidate in genetics from Mexico; and Cyrille Saintenac, a postdoctoral research associate currently working at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in France. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Borlaug Global Rust Initiative.

The team’s study, “Identification of Wheat Gene Sr35 that Confers Resistance to Ug99 Stem Rust Race Group,” appears in the journal Science.

It identifies the stem rust resistance gene named Sr35, and appears alongside a study from an Australian group that identifies another effective resistance gene called Sr33.

“This gene, Sr35, functions as a key component of plants’ immune system,” Akhunov said. “It recognizes the invading pathogen and triggers a response in the plant to fight the disease.”

Wheat stem rust is caused by a fungal pathogen. According to Akhunov, since the 1950s wheat breeders have been able to develop wheat varieties that are largely resistant to this pathogen. However, the emergence of strain Ug99 in Uganda in 1999 devastated crops and has spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen, though has yet to reach the U.S.

“Until that point, wheat breeders had two or three genes that were so efficient against stem rust for decades that this disease wasn’t the biggest concern,” Akhunov said. “However, the discovery of the Ug99 race of pathogen showed that changes in the virulence of existing pathogen races can become a huge problem.”

As a first line of defense, wheat breeders and researchers began looking for resistance genes among those that had already been discovered in the existing germplasm repositories, he said.

“The Sr35 gene was one of those genes that was discovered in einkorn wheat grown in Turkey,” Akhunov said. “Until now, however, we did not know what kind of gene confers resistance to Ug99 in this wheat accession.”

To identify the resistance gene Sr35, the team turned to einkorn wheat that is known to be resistant to the Ug99 fungal strain. Einkorn wheat has limited economic value and is cultivated in small areas of the Mediterranean region. It has been replaced by higher yielding pasta and bread wheat varieties.

Researchers spent nearly four years trying to identify the location of the Sr35 gene in the wheat genome, which contains nearly two times more genetic information than the human genome.

Once the researchers narrowed the list of candidate genes, they used two complimentary approaches to find the Sr35 gene. First, they chemically mutagenized the resistant accession of wheat to identify plants that become susceptible to the stem rust pathogen.

“It was a matter of knocking out each candidate gene until we found the one that made a plant susceptible,” Akhunov said. “It was a tedious process and took a lot of time, but it was worth the effort.”

Next, researchers isolated the candidate gene and used biotechnical approaches to develop transgenic plants that carried the Sr35 gene and showed resistance to the Ug99 race of stem rust.

Now that the resistance gene has been found, Akhunov and colleagues are looking at what proteins are transferred by the fungus into the wheat plants and recognized by the protein encoded by the Sr35 gene. This will help researchers to better understand the molecular mechanisms behind infection and develop new approaches for controlling this devastating pathogen.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Judge Signs Forfeiture Order Against DeCoster’s Quality Egg, LLC

His company’s guilty plea for bribing a USDA egg inspector is costing Austin (Jack) DeCoster’s Quality Egg,LLC an extra $ 10,000.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett has signed a preliminary order of forfeiture ordering Quality Egg, LLC to pay $ 10,000 “representing proceeds derived from the illegal activity committed by the defendant.”

Quality Egg, LLC in June pleaded guilty to one count of bribing a federal official, a felony and the two misdemeanors for selling both misbranded and adulterated eggs. It was part of the plea bargain that included both Jack and son Peter DeCoster each also pleading guilty to single misdemeanors.

Both men and Quality Egg, LLC are scheduled to be sentenced in February. Quality Egg is expected to pay a $ 6.8 million fine, and the plea agreement has each of the DeCosters paying individual fines of $ 100,000 each.

Bennett signed the $ 10,000 cash forfeiture order on Nov. 18, the same day it was requested by the U.S. Attorney for Northern Iowa. A preliminary order of forfeiture becomes final at sentencing.

The defendants will be sentenced after an evidentiary hearing that will begin on Feb. 9, 2015. Sentencing has become tangled in a dispute over whether it can include any jail time for the two men. They’ve pleaded guilty under a so-called “strict liability” misdemeanor. Their attorneys argue it would be unconstitutional to jail corporation officials for merely taking responsibility for a company’s bad acts when they have no actual knowledge or intent concerning it.

The case against Quality Egg, LLC and the DeCosters was filed after a federal investigation into the 2010 Salmonella outbreak that was traced to two Iowa egg farms they owned. During that event they recalled over one-half million shell eggs, the largest such recall in U.S. history.

Food Safety News

Slaughter Wins House Race Against Assini

After widening her lead in the final round of ballot counting Wednesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter now has the votes she needs to retain her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for New York’s 25th congressional district for a 15th term.

After an additional 2,800 ballots were tallied Wednesday, Slaughter’s lead over Republican challenger Mark Assini grew to 869, and Assini called her on Wednesday afternoon to concede the race and congratulate her.

Slaughter, a microbiologist who gives great weight to food safety issues and is an avid defender of medically important antibiotics, has served in the House of Representatives since 1987.

Assini has been the Town Supervisor for Gates, NY, since 2010.

“It’s gratifying to be re-elected for another term so that I can continue fighting for the community I love and am honored to represent,” Slaughter said in a statement declaring victory on Nov. 5 after the majority of absentee ballots had been counted. “Like I said during this campaign, Washington might not be working, but I sure am, and I’m glad to continue that work.”

Since her first election in 1986 when she won by 5 percent of the vote, Slaughter has enjoyed double-digit leads. This year, her win by just under half a percent of the vote was unexpectedly close.

Food Safety News

Annual fundraiser for Ag Against Hunger raises over $14,000

Ag Against Hunger coordinates an annual fundraiser called the “New York Express” every October, and this year a truckload of donated Iceberg lettuce, celery and cauliflower from Salinas, CA, was sold at Hunt’s Point in New York City, raising $ 14,034 for the Salinas-based non-profit.

The Nunes Co., Steinbeck Country Produce, Taylor Farms, Ocean Mist, Tanimura & Antle and Dole Fresh Vegetables donated pallets of Iceberg lettuce, celery and cauliflower for this fundraiser, which benefits Ag Against Hunger’s fall and winter produce distribution programs. The funds raised will also help to fill the salad bars for local schools through AAH’s More Produce for Schools program.

C.H. Robinson donated the associated transportation and delivery costs for the product that travelled from Salinas to New York. M&R Tomato Distributors Inc. of New York sold the product, which was coordinated free of charge through Denise Goodman of M&R Tomato to benefit Ag Against Hunger.

“On behalf of the board of directors of Ag Against Hunger, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved again in our annual fall fundraiser,” Alicia Cask, board member for Ag Against Hunger and transportation planner for Fresh Express/Chiquita, said in a press release. “We are so very grateful for all the continued generosity and support from our local shipper and carrier partners. Without all the commitment and support of our local growers, we could not make this yearly fundraiser a success. The proceeds from this event will help us to continue to serve the local needy communities with healthy and nutritious choices of fruits and vegetables.”

The money raised represents nearly 351,000 servings of fresh vegetables and fruit for people utilizing food bank services.

Since 1990, Ag Against Hunger has collected over 218 million pounds of fresh, nutritious surplus produce from over 50 tri-county grower-shippers and distributed it to food banks throughout the West Coast. The produce is distributed in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties first, where it feeds over 158,000 low-income people each month through local food banks. After local needs are satisfied, the produce is then available to over 240 agencies for distribution to millions more in need.

To learn more, visit www.agagainsthunger.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat.

The latest U.S. labeling rules, put into effect in 2013, require meat sold in grocery stores to indicate the country, or countries, where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

According to a WTO report released on Monday, the labeling rules unfairly discriminate against meat imports and give the advantage to domestic meat products. But the WTO compliance panel also found that the labels do provide U.S. consumers with information on the origin of their food, countering Canada and Mexico’s assertion that the labels do not serve their intended purpose.

Back in November 2013, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the WTO should have the final say on COOL, suggesting that the U.S. might give in to whatever the WTO compliance panel determined.

This is the second time the WTO has ruled against the U.S. in this dispute. After passing mandatory COOL rules in 2008, the U.S. amended COOL in 2012 following an earlier WTO ruling against them.

The Canadian cattle and hog industries say that COOL has cost them combined losses of more than $ 900 million USD. If the COOL rules persist, the Canadian government has threatened to place tariffs on U.S. meat imports, along with products such as wine, potatoes and orange juice.

The U.S. beef industry has strongly opposed COOL, while organizations representing consumers say that grocery shoppers deserve to know where their meat originates.

“COOL is a failed program that will soon cost not only the beef industry, but the entire U.S. economy, with no corresponding benefit to consumers or producers,” said Bob McCan, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, in a statement. “… We look forward to working with Congress to find a permanent solution to this issue, avoiding retaliation against not only beef, but a host of U.S. products.”

In a joint statement, the North American Meat Association and the American Meat Institute also lauded the WTO’s decision.

“USDA’s mandatory COOL rule is not only onerous and burdensome on livestock producers and meat packers and processors, it does not bring the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations,” the joint statement read. “By being out of compliance, the U.S. is subject to retaliation from Canada and Mexico that could cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.”

The consumer group Food & Water Watch called the ruling a threat to consumers’ right to know.

“The WTO’s continued assault against commonsense food labels is just another example of how corporate-controlled trade policy undermines the basic protections that U.S. consumers deserve,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter in a statement. “The United States should appeal the ruling and continue to fight for sensible consumer safeguards at the supermarket.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also spoke out against the ruling and urged the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives to appeal the ruling.

“Accurate information is essential in a competitive, free market and COOL provides consumers with essential information about the origin of their food,” DeLauro said in a statement. “If this ruling stands, U.S. ranchers will not be able to differentiate their products with a U.S. label and consumers will not have the information they need at the point of purchase.”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives said that all options were being considered, including the possibility of appealing the ruling.

“A negotiated solution, not further litigation at the WTO, is the most realistic path to getting this issue resolved in the near term,” said a spokesperson for the office. “Allowing this case to wait for resolution in Geneva will only prolong the market uncertainty we’ve seen on all sides of this issue.”

Food Safety News

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Giant/Martin’s takes action against hunger this September

In recognition of Hunger Action Month this September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets are asking customers to join them in the fight against hunger in the local communities the grocers serve. Throughout the month, Giant/Martin’s-sponsored food drives and hunger-awareness initiatives will support regional Feeding America food banks, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Maryland and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.

“While Hunger Action Month is a time to raise both funds and awareness for local food banks, it’s important to remember that there is a need every month of the year,” John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, said in a press release. “Too many in our local communities go hungry, which is why as part of our ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin’s remains committed to the fight against hunger through the donation of food, funds and volunteer time.”

Running Aug. 31-Sept. 13 is Giant/Martin’s annual Bag Hunger in-store campaign, where customers have an opportunity to donate $ 1 at the checkout to benefit their local food bank. Those who donate will receive a free Unilever product coupon book. A similar campaign held earlier this year raised a record-breaking $ 607,035 in support of local hunger relief efforts.

Also in partnership with Unilever, Giant/Martin’s is hosting a Stuff-A-Truck event at its Havertown, PA, store Sept. 6.

In addition, for each flu shot Giant/Martin’s pharmacies administer this year, Unilever will donate three meals to Feeding America, one of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charities.

Recognizing that high-quality protein is most in need by hungry families, Giant/Martin’s innovative “Meat the Needs” frozen meat donation program has donated more than three million pounds of meat that would otherwise go unsold to its regional food bank partners since 2010.

In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with over 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $ 10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations.

To learn more about the partnership between Giant/Martin’s and Unilever to combat hunger, visit www.feedourfamilies.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.