An Inside Look at United Fresh Start Foundation's FreshStart Event
WASHINGTON, DC - Hitting the ground running, the United Fresh Start Foundation is beginning 2019 with its returning FreshStart event, this year located in La Quinta, CA. The event, which takes place January 15-17, is centered around the effort to increase children’s access to fresh produce. Though the half-day conference is the centerpiece, FreshStart 2019 will include a variety of activities, including a golf tournament, gala dinner, Bids for Kids silent and live auction, and a tour of the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD).
“The FreshStart 2019 conference is a great opportunity for the industry to gather in one place with the sole purpose of supporting the United Fresh Start Foundation,” said Kim St George, Gala Reception, Dinner Chair for United Fresh and Director of Sales and Marketing at Mann Packing. “This two day event provides ample opportunities for our industry colleagues to support the mission of increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. There is something for everyone during this conference, and each of these events support one of the greatest causes that benefit both our children and our industry. I’m looking forward to the positive energy throughout this two day event!”
Early birds get more than the worm at this event—kicking off the conference at 10:30 a.m. on the 15th, attendees can choose to take a tour of the PSUSD. The school district provides 22,000 children with meals each day, and Director of Nutrition Services, Stephanie Bruce, will be on hand to speak to how produce is received, handled, processed, and distributed to 28 schools.
No conference would be complete without a golf tournament, and FreshStart is no exception! The 2019 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf tournament on the 15th at the PGA Dunes course. A great way to make connections and raise funds, the tournament features a $10,000 Putt Fore Cash competition and contest holes including Closest-to-the-Pin, Longest Drive, and a $20,000 Hole in One competition. After the day of golf, attendees can head over to the Foundation Gala Dinner, where Ron Carkoski, CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Gala Dinner will also be the Bids for Kids silent and live action, an annual fundraising event for the Foundation, with last year’s auction raising over $100,000.
“The FreshStart 2019 conference is the perfect event for leaders throughout the produce industry to come together to reflect on 2018, collaborate on current key industry initiatives, and walk away inspired to create a successful 2019 and beyond,” said Alex DiNovio, Conference Chair and President and COO of DNO Produce. “The United Fresh Start Foundation’s mission of increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, in communities, and in our businesses is not only good for the health and well-being of the youth of our nation, but is also critical for increasing the current and future consumption of fresh produce. Anyone who is currently in a leadership position or is interested in growing into a leadership position in our industry should be sure to attend this event.”
Attendees can expect to see Chef Dan Giusti, founder of Brigaid—a collective of chefs committed to improving children's access to nutrition—as the keynote speaker of the General Session Breakfast on the 16th. Along with the keynote address, several other panels and speakers are not to be missed, including A FreshStart In Schools: Not Just School Yard Fodder, Feeding Bodies—Healing Hearts and Souls, and Connecting to Communities to Grow Our Businesses.
The conference portion on the 16th is a half-day event, focusing on connecting businesses to growth opportunities serving the next generation of consumers, bringing attendees from across the industry to collaborate on how to increase children’s access to fresh produce. The conference features produce companies, retailers, and foodservice companies who are collaborating with their communities about this essential issue.
“This event is a great way for industry leaders to get together for some fun and board meetings to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities our industry is facing; plus, who doesn’t want to go to Palm Springs in January,” said Tony Mitchell, Golf Chair and Vice President of Sales and Procurement for SpartanNash/Caito Foods. “This event also honors an icon in our industry every year which is really cool. It is a great opportunity to network with some of the best people in our industry!”
AndNowUKnow will keep you updated on this exciting conference opportunity.