Raley’s and Bashas’ See Record Apple Donations for Annual Drive

Hunger and food insecurity aren’t just about not having food or worrying where your next meal is coming from. Food insecurity also means not having easy access to quality nutrition and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables to support one’s health. This spring, Feeding America food banks in California and Arizona were able to provide more fresh produce than ever to families in need, thanks to a joint effort that delivered nearly 58,000 pounds of apples. Two grocery store divisions, Bashas’ in Arizona and New Mexico, and Raley’s in California and Nevada, hit a record high in their annual apple donations through the FirstFruits Farms’ Take a Bite Out of Hunger initiative. 

Customers at Raley’s and Bashas’ contributed to the donations by purchasing specially marked bags of FirstFruit Farms apples during January and February. The overall apple sales increased by 44% this year, which increased the apple donation by 44% as well.  

In total, Raley’s donated 22,660 pounds of fresh apples to Yolo Food Bank in Woodland, California, while Bashas’ contributed 35,000 pounds to various food banks in Arizona. Together, they donated almost 58,000 pounds of apples, surpassing last year’s donation of 40,000 pounds. Through the annual Take a Bite Out of Hunger campaign, FirstFruits Farms aimed to provide nutritious food to underserved families and raise awareness about food insecurity in the United States. Raley’s has been supporting the initiative since it started in 2010, and Bashas’ has been participating annually since 2018. 

“Ensuring the communities we serve have access to quality nutrition is part of our mission every day, so supporting local food banks is a natural extension of our business,” said Chelsea Carbahal, Vice President of Community Impact and Public Affairs for The Raley’s Companies

In Arizona, as many as 1 in 7 residents struggle with hunger, and in California, about 1 in 11 residents experienced hunger or food insecurity, with children being disproportionately affected. “During the late winter and spring months, we have a real need for fresh produce donations, which makes the contributions from Raley’s particularly meaningful,” said Karen Baker, Executive Directror of Yolo Food Bank. 

“Perishable items like fruits and vegetables represent a relatively small portion of the contributions our food banks receive, but they’re important elements of creating well-balanced meals for families experiencing hunger,” said Milton “Milt” Liu, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank. “Thanks to Bashas’ ongoing support, we’re able to extend that generosity in the form of quality nutrition.” 

Since the Take a Bite Out of Hunger campaign began in 2010, over 2.5 million pounds of fresh apples have been donated to local food banks in participating retailers’ communities. 

“Every community in the country has families facing hunger,” said Aimee Peters, Business Development Manager of FirstFruits Farms. “Teaming up with community-minded grocery stores allows us to make healthy options like apples accessible to families who need them.”