More Foodservice Leaders Step Up to Bring Resources to California Firefighter

Becky Hinkley, Honey Bear Tree Fruit & Vathina Jarvis, Produce Alliance

Becky Hinkley, Honey Bear Tree Fruit & Vathina Jarvis, Produce Alliance

As firefighters in the Southern California region continue to fight some of the most aggressive wildfires in California history, Produce Alliance and other members of the foodservice industry are following the lead of PA Member West Central Food Service by stepping up to lend a hand.

Michael Dodo, owner of West Central Food Service, recently began a campaign organizing deliveries of food, water, and supplies to over 700 firefighters battling blazes all over Southern California.

"It's astronomical what they are doing," Dodo says in the Los Angeles Patch. "They are running to danger, putting themselves at risk. Helping them is something that we have to do."

From there, news of Dodo’s campaign spread, inspiring Produce Alliance to rally troops and help contribute to the cause.

After finding the right combination of growers, freight brokers, and trucks, the Produce Alliance team was not only able to successfully deliver supplies, but the growers, packers, and shippers that stepped up responded tremendously when they heard shipments were going to firefighter teams.

“Honey Bear Tree Fruit not only gave four pallets of apples, but they called on Smitten variety apple growers and packers to give a premium specialty variety,” explains Nate Montgomery, Senior Procurement Specialist of Produce Alliance. “And when A1 Transportation and Chinook Transportation heard part of the order was for the firefighters, they dropped their rate by $600.”

“Each contributed to helping their neighbor, and each deserves to be given the honor that is due. They all helped to give needed resources to the brave men and women that are fighting to keep the people in Southern California safe.”

Produce Alliance specializes in providing fresh produce category management services including procurement, national distribution, information services, and food safety assurance to food service clients across North America, the Caribbean and beyond. They manage an alliance of 50+ independently owned specialty distributors of fresh products, with combined produce sales of over $4 billion annually.