Fruit Industry Generous During Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching, producers from throughout the fruit industry are getting into the spirit of the season. In Michigan, apple growers are lending a hand to the needy. The Michigan Apple Committee has announced that apple growers will give their excess crops to local food pantries. The Food Bank Council of Michigan says it receives 1 million pounds of fresh apples every year, and with this year’s record-breaking numbers, the Michigan Apple Committee expects even more to be donated this year. Michigan produced 27 million bushels of apples this year, almost double the crop size from last year. Since October, 200,000 pounds of Michigan apples have been donated.

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One grower in particular is doing more than their fair share. Cherry Bay Orchards, owned and operated by Don and Bob Gregory, will have donated more than 5,000 bushels of apples. The crop goes to local food banks and pantries, and the Gregorys also work through Hope and Encouragement for Humanity to supply pantries throughout the U.S. You can read more about their efforts here.

Meanwhile, Naumes Fruit Gifts in Oregon is partnering with Oregon Food Bank to feed hungry families during the holidays through its new Donate Fruit commitment. For gifts purchased at naumesfruitgifts.com using the code “OFB” at checkout, the Naumes family will match each gift, pound for pound, with a donation of fresh fruit to Oregon Food Bank. “During this difficult economy, it is especially important to replenish our food banks, particularly with fresh, nutritious fruits such as pears,” said Rachel Bristol, CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “We thank Naumes for its generosity in giving back to our neighbors in need.”

Naumes has been donating to food banks for generations, They have given more than 10 million pounds of fresh fruit to Feeding America alone, of which Oregon Food Bank is a network member. “We are proud to partner with Oregon Food Bank, whose work is essential for the health of our local communities,” said Mike Naumes, President of Naumes, Inc. “We lost our first orchard in the Great Depression so we understand first hand the importance of giving back.”