Last year, our network delivered about 12.5 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to our neighbors in need.
That’s almost DOUBLE the amount we distributed in 2015—at the beginning of our current 10 year strategic plan—and about 6 TIMES as much produce as we distributed annually in the first several years after we built our Duquesne facility, which opened in 2000.
This change was not an accident, and it wasn’t always easy. And it’s not over. We continue to work to expand access to fresh foods: meat, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, because the people we serve have told us these are the products they want the most.
In a recent survey of the people we serve, only 32 percent reported that they eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily, because fresh food is hard to access in many communities. Fifty-seven percent of people said fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to get in their neighborhood, and 83 percent said that fresh fruits and vegetables cost too much to buy. We also know that diet-related disease is higher in communities struggling with poverty, and we know that poor nutrition contributes to a number of negative social, health, and economic outcomes for people experiencing food insecurity.
That’s why we set a goal to make fresh produce 50% of our total product mix, and we are transforming our facility, fleet, network, and operating models to make that happen.