EAST GRAND FORKS, MN -- When another growing region was unable to supply potatoes for a Thanksgiving week relief effort, Red River Valley shippers gladly stepped in on short notice and filled a semi.
Just as with the Hurricane Katrina donation, the trailer was filled before everyone that wanted to donate could. Tri-Campbell Farms, Associated Potato Growers, Ryan Potato Company and NoKota Packers quickly filled a truch with over 8,000 five-pound bags.
The NPPGA office first received the request on November 9th for potatoes from Operation Blessing International who was working with NFL Charities. Just four days later, one of their trucks was in the Valley loading up, and a few days after that the potatoes were being distributed along with other grocery items to needy families in four NFL cities. Players and staff from the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars helped distribute the food in their respective cities.
"We have so much to be thankful for, and it means a great deal to be able to help others out during this time of year," said Jordan Gross, a tackle for the Carolina Panthers.
Panther's director of community relations Riley Fields had the same sentiments. "It's staggering that thousands of people in our community face hunger issues on a daily basis," said Fields. "With the aid of Operation Blessing and our team partners, we are grateful to be able to provide food to many families that need assistance, especially during the holiday season."