2016-10-13 / Life in Leelanau

Shoreline Fruit donates 20 tons of tart cherries to Michigan food bank

Shoreline Fruit announced on Friday the donation of 40,000 pounds of Montmorency tart cherries to Feeding America of West Michigan.

The donation was made possible through a collaborative effort between Shoreline Fruit and its growers.

“We are very pleased to make this contribution of our fruit to Feeding America of West Michigan,” grower and Shoreline Fruit board member Don Gregory said in a release.

Domestic tart cherry production increased nearly 40 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Processors were restricted on marketing 29 percent of their available fruit from growers as a result.

The industry operates under a Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB) federal marketing order. The CIAB works with growers to establish annual quotas, safeguarding tart cherry growers from fluctuating prices and matching supply with estimated demand.

Processors may choose to maintain inventory reserves, sell excess into the export market, use some for cherry product development or donate processed surplus cherries to charity.

“The decision to make this charitable donation allows us to comply with the 2016 CIAB quota while supporting a great organization that provides much needed food to families throughout West Michigan, including our five-county Grand Traverse region,” said Shoreline Fruit grower Bruce Veliquette of Elk Rapids.

Feeding America West Michigan provides nutritious food to more than 1,100 hunger-relief organizations.

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