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Avocados from Peru and Giant Food partner to extend helping hand during time of need

fulllResidents in need in the Washington, DC, region will have a chance to stock their pantries with a healthy superfood later this month courtesy of Avocados from Peru and Giant Food.

Giant Food is teaming with the Peruvian Avocado Commission, the Washington, DC-based organization charged with promoting avocados from that South American origin, to donate a container of Avocados from Peru to the Capital Area Food Bank in Northeast Washington, DC, and the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore. The donation will take place July 31 on National Avocado Day.

While other commodity groups have worked with food banks across the country to facilitate donations to those in need, few have matched the scale of this effort, according to Xavier Equihua, president and CEO of PAC.

“A container load is 40,000 pounds, or up to 120,000 pieces of fruit,” said Equihua. “This is by far the largest one-time donation of this type by the avocado category.”

Equihua said he considers it a privilege to partner with Giant Food, which has 163 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC, to help area residents during this unprecedented time.

“We are eager to give back to the community,” he said. “Avocados are a healthy comfort food, and this gives us an opportunity to show that the avocado industry cares. And the timing was perfect, since National Avocado Day is July 31 and Avocados from Peru are known as the Summer Avocado.”

Giant Food is equally excited about the partnership.

“Avocados are not only a versatile ingredient that can be used for anything from breakfast to sweet or savory dishes, they also make us feel good and are nutritionally dense, packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy mono-saturated fats,” said Lisa Coleman, director of healthy living at Giant Food. “We are excited to be able to provide this superfood as part of our ongoing efforts to make sure that all families in our community have access to healthy food options.”

“The current need for emergency food is unlike anything we’ve experienced in our 40-year history,” said Radha Muthia, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “With the dramatic decline in retail donations that has occurred as a result of the pandemic, we’re so thankful to be receiving a truckload of healthy, easy-to-distribute food that is also culturally relevant for many of the people we serve. Avocados from Peru is making a big difference for many of the thousands of families in our region that are struggling to put meals on the table right now”

The Capital Area Food Bank delivery will feature one of the Peruvian Brothers’ famous food trucks from the popular Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone. Food bank staff will receive a delicious boxed meal made with Avocados from Peru. Social distancing will, of course, be maintained.

Equihua said the upcoming donation is already creating a buzz, with large media networks in Washington, DC, planning to cover the event.

“Even though Avocados from Peru is leading this effort, it will provide a boost for the entire avocado category, especially with the donation on National Avocado Day,” he said. “Similar to our other promotions, this one takes a macro approach to lifting the overall category, and not necessarily just Peru.”

Equihua said as of late July approximately 65 percent of the anticipated 190 million pounds have been shipped to the United States. Supplies will be available into early-October.

“It is shaping up to be a similar season as last year in terms of shipments,” said Equihua. “The pandemic has had no effect on shipments, which is somewhat surprising since the foodservice market has been decimated. People are still seeking them out due to their status as a healthy comfort food.”

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