The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) announced a new partnership with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Food Bank RGV) at last week’s Viva Fresh Expo’s keynote luncheon. Food Bank RGV’s Viva Fresh Produce Pledge “A Gift from Farms to Families” is a new program that will serve as a year-round collection of fresh produce donations to help food insecure communities in Texas.

Participating companies can “pledge” in 2021 to provide fruits and vegetables in 2022. Whether it be a single load, multiple loads or on a rotating basis throughout the year, TIPA and Food Bank RGV will in turn provide this produce to food insecure families in the region.

“In the past year, our region has been hard hit by not only the pandemic, but also hurricanes in July, droughts in November and December and a historic freeze in February,” said Dante Galeazzi, president & CEO of TIPA. “Businesses have absolutely suffered. But many families are suffering more. This is about Texans helping Texans and families helping families.”

Stuart Haniff, MHA-CEO of Food Bank RGV (left) and Dante Galeazzi, president & CEO of TIPA (right).

This effort’s objective is to not only continue feeding vulnerable households, but also help Texas communities by giving them broader access to healthy foods. Food banks across the country often have a shortage of fresh and nutritious foods. A variety of research shows that food insufficiency, especially a lack of fresh produce, can lead to diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions due to poor nutrition. This problem has been exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our mission for Viva Fresh has been to promote and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. We proudly announced our new partnership with Food Bank RGV at this year’s Viva Fresh Expo,” said Ed Bertaud, director of retail sales for IFCO and Viva Fresh Steering Committee member. “These efforts align with our continued quest to cast a spotlight on the power of the Tex-Mex corridor and the nutrient dense foods we grow and ship, as well as their ability to improve overall personal health.”

“As a hub of fresh produce and a health-conscious food bank, we are honored and excited to partner with an association that advocates for healthier lifestyles among its members and stakeholders,” said Stuart Haniff, MHA-CEO of Food Bank RGV. “We look forward to supporting Texans with vital, delicious and healthy produce which will strengthen our communities today and for years to come.”

“Through our partnership with Food Bank RGV, we can now support our communities here at home by not only offering employment and economic stimulus, but by also keeping our neighbors healthy and safe,” said Galeazzi.

Participating companies can commit to donating a certain amount of pounds or loads in the 2022 calendar year. Contact TIPA or Food Bank RGV for more information.

For more information:
Texas International Produce Association
Tel: +1 (956) 581-8632