Welch's Family-Farmer Owners Share Grape Harvest with Feeding America
Welch's Targets One Million Juice Donations to Help Food-Insecure Families
CONCORD, MA, (October 1, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — Welch's is aiming to donate one million servings of 100 percent juice to America's largest domestic hunger-relief charity Feeding America. As the Welch's Concord and Niagara grape harvests get underway in vineyards across North America, Welch's is partnering with Feeding America to share the bounty of its harvest with the millions of families nationwide who do not have access to adequate amounts of food to sustain a healthy life. Welch's family-farmer owners are calling on all families across the country to support their Harvest of Help and reach the target of one million servings, by making a free product donation to Feeding America online at www.welchs.com/harvest.
Welch's is owned by more than 1,200 family-farmers across North America, who are responsible for growing and harvesting approximately 320,000 tons of Concord and Niagara grapes each year which are pressed to produce Welch's juices and other grape-based products. Through Harvest of Help, Welch's family-farmer owners are able to support others in their communities and nationwide who do not always know where they will find their next meal.
"I'm the third generation in my family to be a Welch's grower-owner, and harvest is an incredibly busy time for me. If I can help others including farmers who are less fortunate, it will make this harvest season that much more important and worthwhile," explains Jamie Militello, a Welch's family-farmer owner from Forestville, New York. "If we family-farmer owners can band together to make a contribution to America during these tough economic times and make a difference, there is no better way to remember this year and our harvest."
"We want to share our harvest with those that need it most, so this partnership with Feeding America was a perfect match for us," comments Brad Irwin CEO of Welch's. "People are consuming fewer fruits and vegetables than they were this time last year, which is probably due to the economic recession. We're aiming to donate a million servings of 100 percent juice because we want to give something healthy back to those families that are struggling to afford nutritious food. Welch's is known for its 100 percent grape juice made from Concord grapes which helps to support a healthy heart, mind and immune system. We have the power to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and we hope others will help us reach our goal."
Welch's is calling on families across America to join the Harvest of Help by logging on to www.welchs.com/harvest to make a free product donation. For each click until December 31, 2009, Welch's will donate eight 8-ounce servings of 100 percent juice to Feeding America, with the aim of donating one million servings in total.
"More and more families are struggling with hunger as the economic downturn and rising unemployment take their toll. We are very grateful that Welch's has chosen to support Feeding America," comments Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. "More than 40 percent of adults helped by programs in Feeding America live in suburban or rural areas, and this generous donation from Welch's will go towards supporting families in rural and farming communities, as well as others nationwide."
Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch's is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative Association whose Concord and Niagara grapes are harvested from vineyards across America and in Ontario, Canada. Since the inception of its "unfermented grape wine" in 1869, Welch's now markets grape juice, grape jelly, and other fruit-based products. Welch's 100% Grape Juice made from Concord grapes helps promote a healthy heart and arteries, maintain a healthy immune system, and support a healthy mind. Welch's is committed to research and development which will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers' health and nutrition needs. Welch's products are sold throughout the United States and in 50 countries around the globe. For more information, visit http://www.welchs.com.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a network of more than 200 member food banks that supply more than 2.3 billion pounds of food and groceries to 63,000 agencies that feed people at risk of hunger. Feeding America is the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, providing food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit www.feedingamerica.org.