Duda Farm Fresh Foods is Approved as a USDA National Strategic Partner
OVIEDO, FL (December 19, 2011) – Duda Farm Fresh Foods announced today that it has donated forty thousand pounds of fresh produce to Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) Families in Transition (FIT) program. The fresh produce will be made available to children at food pantries at the school where children will be able to pick up food to take home with them for weekends when school lunches are not available. The retail value of the donated produce is approximately $30,000.
FIT program, run by Seminole County Public Schools, aims to serve the approximately 1,250 (as of August 2011) Seminole County students that are homeless, and the approximately 42% of those that receive free or reduced lunches during the school week. The organization appeared in a “60 Minutes” segment titled "Hard Times Generation," a two part series that aired on November 27, 2011 and previously on March 6, 2011.
FIT was established in April 2003 to serve the educational needs of children in Seminole County Schools System who are considered homeless. FIT serves students who, by definition, "lack a fixed, regular and adequate residence; or have a primary nighttime residence that is temporary in nature; or is a place not designed or used ordinarily as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." Once these students are identified, they and their families receive assistance with enrollment procedures, transportation to school, school supplies, free breakfast and lunch, tutoring if needed, and referrals to local service agencies for additional services if necessary. Other services are also offered through grant funding.
“With so many families struggling to make ends meet right in our own back yard, we felt compelled to help by donating fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Dan Duda, President/Chief Operating Officer of Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “We are carrying out our 85 year commitment of giving to those in need,” continued Duda.
“To help impact their present and future health, all children regardless of income level need access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Dede Schaffner, Seminole County school board member and FIT volunteer. “This generous donation made by Duda Farm Fresh Foods will help ensure that hundreds of families in Seminole county have healthy foods on hand this holiday season. Christmas came early for us this year.” continued Schaffner.
The donation of fresh produce to FIT is one part of a series of steps Duda Farm Fresh Foods is taking to help ensure that children and families in the Central Florida community have the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2012 the company plans to sponsor 8 salad bars in Seminole Country Public Schools as part of the United Fresh Produce Association and first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” program. Recently Duda was accepted as a National Strategic Partner of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Communicator’s Network. As a partner, Duda agrees to conduct promotional activities in support of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate messages. To facilitate its partnership efforts, Duda emphasizes the importance of smart snacking as part of an overall healthy diet through its “Plateless MyPlate On-the-Go” campaign. For more information on Simple Snacking visit www.simplesnacking.com
About Duda Farm Fresh Foods
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a major grower, shipper and marketer of fresh citrus and fresh and fresh-cut vegetables with primary locations in Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Michigan. Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DUDA, a family-owned, diversified land company headquartered in Oviedo, Fla. www.dudafresh.com
To learn more about Families in Transition visit www.seminolehomelesskids.org/