The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) announced Monday the donation of 80,000 pounds of produce to the RAMP (Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project), a non-profit organization whose vision is to improve the well-being of impoverished children and families in Martin County, KY through community outreach and hunger relief programs with the ultimate goal of empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.
With the help of the Society of St. Andrew for distribution, RAMP will be receiving produce donations from SEPC members DiMare Fresh Produce, Mack Farms, Inc., Nickey Gregory Company, North Bay Produce, Inc., Shuman Produce, Inc., Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable, Inc., and Wayne E. Bailey, Co. These members will be donating cases, pallets, and truckloads of various fruits and veggies to this worthy cause for hunger relief.
“Part of the SEPC’s mission is to give back to communities in which we operate. Once again, our membership has answered the call to help feed the hungry and open up their hearts to those who are in need. We are very pleased that we can help facilitate these donations and serve our membership while helping the people in Martin County, KY,” said David Sherrod, Executive Director of SEPC.
Why Martin County?
- 12,800 people in the county
- One of the poorest counties in the US
- 33% of people live below the poverty line (2x the national average of 15.3%)
- 45% of families with kids live below the poverty line
- 73% of the children are on free or government subsidized lunch programs
- Some families have no electricity or plumbing in their homes
- Limited safety nets for the county – no homeless shelters, large food pantries, job training centers, etc
- Parents are unable to buy healthy, fresh food for their children – packaged, fast food and soda are more affordable therefore childhood obesity is an ever-expanding problem
All of RAMP’s efforts are focused on Martin County kids and their families. Funds raised go directly to operating hunger relief programs including:
- Backpack Program, which sends fresh produce, healthy snacks and nutritious foods home with food-insecure public schoolchildren (kids whose main meals are eaten only when they’re at school).
- Community Food Pantry, which provides fresh produce, food and commodities to anywhere from 200-500 families-in-need every month.
- Summer Mobile Feeding Program, which RAMP helps the Martin County Public School Board of Education to operate for students who may not have any access to food at home during summer vacation
Access to healthy food and economic opportunity in Martin County is scarce, but through the SEPC’s partnership with RAMP, the Society of St. Andrew, and the dedicated SEPC membership, fresh produce is provided to this undernourished area several times a year.
If your company is interested in donating fresh produce for a RAMP delivery, please contact the SEPC at firstname.lastname@example.org.