September 6th, 2013
Two thousand cases of hearty soups are rolling off our production lines this month, but they won’t be headed to stores. They’re on their way to the Oregon Food Bank (OFB). We’ve always believed in doing our part to give everyone access to healthy nutrition. (We’ve been partnering with OFB for decades!) But recently, we took it even further, promising to donate a minimum of 24,000 cartons of soup every month.
It’s part of Pacific and OFB’s ongoing efforts to help transform local farm surplus into packaged soups and other meals. Our partnership is rather unusual. When the food bank receives large donations of fresh ingredients from local farmers, our research & development team creates recipes to use up the surplus. Pacific then donates line time at our facility to get the meals into production. Say for example, a farm donates a thousand pounds of celery. We use it to make a creamy celery soup that keeps longer at the food bank and is much easier to store than frozen celery.
Through our joint efforts, the food bank can say “yes” to farmers more often. Their relationships have been strengthened, and the food bank has food available for several months that they can offer to those who need it. Our commitment will provide 576,000 meals this year alone.
September is Hunger Awareness Month, and we joined OFB at an event here in Oregon to announce the new initiative. Susannah Morgan, CEO of OFB said, “We’re grateful for Pacific’s generosity. It gives our clients the kind of nutritious food they’re looking for.”
We just like doing what we can to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry. The program also prevents more than 200,000 pounds of food from being wasted each year! (Everyone knows we love a good sustainability story.)
Our hope is that farmers throughout Oregon will donate more food and begin devoting acres of produce to the food bank. When they do, our production lines will be ready.