One Day, 240,000+ Pounds of Produce: How We Celebrated 10 Years of the Western Growers Transportation Program
Last Wednesday I participated in what will probably remain one of the highlights of my career. To celebrate 10 years of the Western Growers Transportation Program (WGTP)—a partnership formed by Western Growers and C.H. Robinson—Western Growers, C.H. Robinson, Feeding America, and other licensed associations participating in the WGTP hosted a national day of giving. We put out a call asking growers and associations to donate fresh produce to benefit Feeding America locations around the country. And they answered. Big time.
After all was said and done, more than 240,000 pounds of produce was donated. Add to that the financial contributions we received, and our Giving Day totals will provide over 250,000 meals to Americans in need, in communities from coast to coast. The generosity of the more than 30 growers and associations that donated to our Giving Day astounded me.
What’s more, it felt really good to be able to give such quality produce to the food banks. Typically, they receive secondary market quality goods—products that retailers, foodservice companies, and others reject for quality—and that was not the case in this event. I was so proud of every pallet of fresh lettuce, crisp celery, cantaloupe, and other great-looking produce donated. This was all product that the growers could have sold to their retail and foodservice customers, but their generosity means those goods will help feed people who don’t always have access to fresh, high quality, nutrition-packed fruits and veggies.
And as I gathered with Western Growers leaders and several of my C.H. Robinson colleagues at our Bethlehem, PA, service center—the hub where donated produce was collected and distributed—I couldn’t help but think about the strong relationships we’ve grown with Western Growers and all of the associations and carriers we’ve worked with over the years. The Giving Day was a celebration of a decade’s worth of successful collaboration and commitment to providing grower-shippers with reliable, efficient transportation services.
All in all, what the event accomplished was remarkable. When you consider the generous amount of food and funds donated, along with the big-heartedness of all of the people who pitched in, it’s incredible.
Thank you to all of the grower-shippers and carriers who made this event possible, and thank you to Western Growers for 10 years of success together. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring!
A lot of people helped out, and a lot of great moments happened during the event. Here are some of my favorite photos from the Giving Day.