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NYAS teams up with retailer to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

The produce industry has a long-standing reputation for reaching out to people in need during times of natural or manmade disasters.

In the case of Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales, the approximate 1,800-miles between upstate New York and Houston, TX, was not about to stop the company from offering its aid in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

On Aug. 29, Jim Allen, vice president of marketing for the leading Northeast apple grower and shipper, told The Produce News that the NYAS team wanted to do something for all the people who were affected by the storm and the catastrophic flooding that resulted in and around Houston.

“In upstate New York, devastating​ weather issues such as flooding are rare,” said Allen. “On Monday morning, we and our core of Hudson Valley apple growers united in putting a load of fresh apples together to ship to the Food Bank of San Antonio, from where they will be distributed.”

He added that everyone involved in the donation effort hopes that the apples will, at least for a moment, bring a brief bit of pleasure and joy to those affected.

“Being a long-time supplier of H-E-B, and having their support over the years, we wanted to help and support its efforts in helping the people of Houston and surrounding communities,” added Allen.

On Aug. 27, H-E-B posted a message on its website stating that the company will donate $100,000 toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and would also begin accepting customer donations for the families and communities devastated by the storm.

All H‑E‑B, Central Market and Joe V's Smart Shop stores across Texas launched a statewide tear pad campaign, giving customers an opportunity to support victims through donations of $1, $3, or $5, which can be added to their total grocery bill.

All monies accepted will benefit the American Red Cross for Texas Flood & Hurricane Relief, The Salvation Army and Feeding Texas.

In the post, Winell Herron, H‑E‑B Group vice president of public affairs and diversity, stated that H-E-B has received numerous requests from customers about how they can help support victims and communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“H-E-B’s tear pad campaign offers a convenient and efficient way for our customers to make a difference in the lives of thousands of families in need,” said Herron.

Additionally, H‑E‑B's Mobile Kitchens and Disaster Relief Units are gearing up to feed and help communities in need along the Texas Gulf Coast. H‑E‑B continues to work directly with disaster relief agencies to efficiently distribute supplies to areas where they are needed most.

Allen said the NYAS load of apples will hit the food bank by the beginning of the week of Sept. 4.

Modern Freight Solutions in New Paltz, NY, will transport the apples.

“Jerry Barbato, the head of operation for MFS, teamed up with NYAS to donate the needed freight to deliver the apples,” Allen explained.

Allen also gave a shout-out to NYAS grower-partners who made the donation possible. They include Yonder Farms in Hudson, Fix Bros. Fruit Farm in Hudson, George W. Saulpaugh & Son in Germantown, Crist Bros. Orchards in Walden and Porpiglia Farms in Marlboro.

“We thank all of these growers for showing their support in helping people in time of need,” stressed Allen.