Crowley, CPE to Provide 16,000 Pounds of Food in NY
Crowley Logistics joined Caribbean Produce Exchange, Inc. (CPE), a Puerto Rico distributor of fresh produce and consumer products, and Puerto Rico farmers to ship a container filled with fresh fruits, plantains and other “Son de Aquí” local products to the Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities of New York City impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The container included 16,000 pounds of fruit and produce, such as pineapples from Manatí, Santa Isabel papayas and Guánica green plantains. The shipment arrived for distribution through Baldor Specialty Foods’ facility in the South Bronx. The food will be distributed to seniors and low-income families and at community centers that serve vulnerable populations in the city through a partnership with City Harvest, a non-profit food rescue mission. In addition, employees who work as first-line responders for Baldor and other first-responders will be receiving fresh produce as part of this donation.
The container, provided and shipped from San Juan, Puerto Rico, by Crowley Logistics, which is the island’s longest serving U.S. shipping and logistics solutions company and part of Crowley Maritime Corp., also included a variety of Wana Bana tropical fruit purées ideal for children, senior citizens and people with diabetic conditions. These products are 100 percent natural, pasteurized and sugar free, allowing for non-refrigerated storage. The container arrived on Crowley’s container ship MV Taíno in Jacksonville, Fla., and was trucked this weekend into New York City for distribution to people in need.
Baldor Specialty Foods, headquartered in the South Bronx, is one of the largest importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in the Northeast. Baldor Cares, the company’s social responsibility platform, works with a wide array of non-profit entities such as “City Harvest” in New York, to provide food for hundreds of thousands of citizens in need throughout the Tri-State area annually.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, CPE has been helping farmers sell their products including fruits, vegetables, dairy products and protein throughout non-traditional channels and other platforms, as a consequence of the quarantine lockdown and curfew ordered by the local government. The lockdown closed schools and cafeterias as well as restaurants and hundreds of food service locations that have been forced to close temporarily also. All of this has impacted the harvests and sales of fresh produce on the Island. According to Santiago, this support program to farmers has yielded in opening doors and providing effective solutions for fresh produce placement in new trade channels.