By Nora Trueblood, ALC MarCom
Every year we read about the generosity of the produce industry, whether it is donating salad bars to schools, providing extras to the farm workers in the fields, or continuing to support efforts like Navidad en el Barrio. Even after the past two challenging years with COVID-19, and supply chain disruptions, giving is still taking place.
According to Keith Curtis, founder and president of The Curtis Group, and featured in the digital issue of the Daily Press, “I believe that 2021 will be noteworthy. Not because donors have reached their max, but because we must and will continue to dig deep to support the critical work of our nonprofit partners.”
Imagine, if you will, donations pouring into a warehouse in Bell, CA, where all of the product is palletized, organized and then distributed to over 27 different agencies, from San Diego to Riverside, to Pasadena and downtown LA. Almost all of the donors that gave to Navidad en el Barrio for the 2021 effort have donated before, but there were new companies that jumped in, as well. The challenge this year was that companies were feeling the stress of meeting retail orders before they could even consider donating to a non-profit.
Fortunately, Navidad en el Barrio was the recipient of donations from Randall Farms (in cooperation with Tyson Foods), who gave frozen chicken to every family, Wada Farms along with the Allen Lund Company provided a full truckload of Idaho potatoes, Grimmway Farms provided carrots for every family, and Taylor Farms sent bagged lettuce. Also included in the grocery bags were apples from Sage Fruit and FirstFruits Farms, blueberry applesauce from Crunch Pak, avocados from Mission Foods, and a full truckload of Halos, oranges and lemons donated by Wonderful Citrus. For the second year tortillas were donated by the Santa Fe Tortilla Co.(this donation was transported from Little Rock, AK to Southern California). A new donor this year was PepsiCo – who kindly added snack items to many bags. And speaking of bags, our local Target, in La Canada Flintridge, donated 1,000 of their Target bags which were used at the Our Lady of Guadalupe distribution site.
One of the largest donor’s year in and year out is Coca-Cola. This year there were three truckloads of product from both Northern and Southern California, including water, tea and juice. Other regulars with NEEB included Cacique Inc. and Cardenas Markets(both under the direction of Ana Cardenas, an angel to NEEB), who provided cheese, rice and chorizo. Finally, Northgate Market included tomato sauce, as they do, every year.
I am proud that the Allen Lund Company has continued to support Navidad en el Barrio, along with many other well-deserving non-profits. For NEEB we coordinated the transportation to the warehouse, provided logistical support in the multi-pick loads from grower/shippers and had volunteer manpower throughout the day of distribution at the main warehouse. Additionally, there were ALC folks at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities/Downtown LA, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, distributing bags to families. Overall 12,500 families were recipients of two full bags of groceries. A mighty effort for a wonderful cause. We are already looking forward to 2022, and Navidad en el Barrio would like to increase the give to 15,000 families! So, while we wish there were not the need, this amazing group of donors continue to make sure more families can enjoy a happy Christmas.
From the Allen Lund Company to all of you – Merry Christmas.
Nora Trueblood began her career with ALC in 2002 as Director of Marketing & Communications. Prior to joining the company, Trueblood worked as the event manager with the Montrose Arts Council and Alpine Dance in Montrose, CO., had her own production and event planning company, and spent 7 years with Lorimar Television.