Vertically Integrated Partnership Holds Major Food Donation and Volunteer Event at the Bellingham Food Bank

September 17, 2010

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On September 15th, the Vertically Integrated Partnership (including Sodexo, Annie’s Fun, Hirai Farms, etc.) donated 8,000 pounds of potatoes to the Bellingham Food Bank. Over 50 volunteers from Sodexo and Western Washington University were on hand to help to unload the potatoes.

Additionally, the following key people made remarks to the crowd of volunteers and others who attended the event at the Bellingham Food Bank:

  • Mike Cohen, Executive Director, Bellingham Food Bank
  • Ira Simon, Sodexo – Western Washington University
  • Blaine Hirai, Owner of Hirai Farms and Chair of Annie’s Fun, and Co-Chair of the “Vertically Integrated Partnership”
  • Rep. Doug Ericksen, 42nd Legislative District, Bellingham

The Vertically Integrated Partnership is a coalition of farmers, food processors, food distributors and food service companies, co-chaired by Sodexo and Annie’s Fun/Hirai Farms, that are working together to help stop hunger in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2008, the Vertically Integrated Partnership (i.e., Sodexo, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun, etc.) has donated over 2 million pounds of food (i.e., potatoes, sweet corn, onions, beans, canned foods, etc.) to many food banks in the Pacific Northwest, including Northwest Harvest, Second Harvest, Food Lifeline, White Center Food Bank, Quincy Community Food Bank, Wenatchee Food Bank, etc. The Vertically Integrated Partnership (VIP) has a goal of donating another 2 million pounds of food in the next 12 to 16 months.

On a related note, following are links regarding some of the other recent activities and/or events that the Vertically Integrated Partnership has done to help feed the hungry in the Pacific Northwest:

Said Max Morange, Agricultural Programs Coordinator of the Bellingham Food Bank, “This generous donation by the Vertically Integrated Partnership, Sodexo, Annie’s Fun and Hirai Farms will greatly benefit Whatcom County. The Bellingham Food Bank will be immediately distributing the potatoes to soup kitchens and emergency food providers across the county. Having such a large donation really makes it possible for us to distribute much-needed food to every corner of our community.”

For photos from the recent September 15th Vertically Integrated Partnership event at the Bellingham Food Bank, please go to the following link: http://picasaweb.google.com/113801520809907951729/091510VIPSodexoAnnieSFunSpecialFoodDonationAndVolunteerEventAtTheBellinghamFoodBank?authkey=Gv1sRgCLqds7-Ar-6DAg&feat=directlink – or for more information, please contact verticallyintegratedpartners@gmail.com, Blaine Hirai at giving@anniesfun.org or 509-693-7811, or Mike Cohen of the Bellingham Food Bank at mike@bellinghamfoodbank.org or 360-676-0392.

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SOURCE Bellingham Food Bank; Vertically Integrated Partnership

Source: newswire

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