It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We at OnionBusiness share our faith when we say to you, “Merry Christmas!” because Jesus is the Reason for our Season. But we’d also very much like to take this opportunity to wish believers in all faiths joy during your celebrations as well.
And whatever our holidays entail, it’s fairly certain that if we’re reading this website together, we’re doing so with abundance in our lives. In fact, we in the onion industry are blessed beyond measure, right?
But there are many individuals and families very near us – we probably pass them on the highways and byways every single day – whose lives might not be as full and as happy as ours. If we slow down and take time to look, we might be surprised and saddened to see the contrast between our “haves” and their “have nots.”
So in the spirit of this time and this place – the holiday season in the United States of America – we’d like to remind you that giving a little is often giving a lot.
We’re in a unique position as part of the America produce industry to make sure that those less fortunate than we are don’t go to bed hungry. And it’s not just by donating our onions, although that’s a logical and caring start.
We can work together to keep hunger at bay for millions of our fellow Americans. One way is to visit Feeding America’s website at http://www.feedingamerica.org/ways-to-give/give-food/become-a-product-partner/national-produce-program.html, where you can be among the produce handlers who sign up as network members. There’s time to do so and fill someone’s plate on Christmas!
The site says, “Network members enable us to acquire and distribute more than 3 billion pounds of food and grocery products needed to help struggling Americans. Corporate partners and government agencies are critical supporters of our work. Feeding America provides liability protection and tax benefits for our corporate partners… Feeding America is a leading waste diversion partner across the food supply chain, partnering with top industry groups and companies in the retail, manufacturing, and produce spaces.”
The inner workings where the produce industry can participate are explained thus: “Feeding America established the National Produce Program to increase the network’s capacity to handle fresh foods. This program, previously known as the Fresh Foods Initiative, has grown substantially over the past few years and has become the number one category of food that we distribute.”
The upshot is a “comprehensive array of services built around securing and distributing fresh produce throughout the Feeding America network of 200 food banks.”
How does it work? “Partnerships with growers and industry experts help Feeding America identify and secure bulk nutritious sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, including but not limited to, potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, apples, and oranges.”
Then Value Added Processing “enables food banks to accept and distribute these bulk produce items in manageable packaging commonly found in supermarkets. It also allows us to capture fresh produce at an earlier stage in the supply chain that translates into increased freshness.” There’s also a page for monetary donations, accessible at http://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/.