ORBIS Container Services (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) announced the launch of a new program in partnership with America's Second Harvest (Chicago), the country's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. ORBIS Container Services operates service centers for the rental, cleaning, sorting and tracking of reusable plastic containers, or RPCs, for major fruit and vegetable growers/shippers that supply grocery retailers.
The objective of the program is to bring the benefit of fresh produce donations to America's Second Harvest's nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that serve all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. This network secures and distributes more than two billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
"This agreement will remove obstacles for shippers to donate to our network", said Rick Bella, director of produce for America's Second Harvest. "With the continued increased use of returnable shipping containers, this couldn't have come at a more opportune time for us."
From time to time, fresh produce is rejected at retailer distribution centers, after visual inspections deem the produce as not meeting the stringent standards set by the retailers. However, this fresh produce has significant value to America's Second Harvest, which can quickly and efficiently distribute it to those in need, via its food bank network. As an added benefit to encourage the donation of fresh produce, participating grower/shippers are eligible for tax incentives for the value of their donation.
As part of this program, all ORBIS shipping containers with the donated produce will be recovered by ORBIS, reducing costly container loss. "Enrolling America's Second Harvest significantly strengthens the network of sites that can handle rejections of produce in RPCs for our customers. At the same time, we are contributing, with our grower/shipper customers, to a leading network of food banks that benefits a wide range of our country's population," said Michelle Ziegler, director of sales for ORBIS Container Services.
Source: News release, Orbis.