Wegmans Food Markets, in partnership with the New York Apple Association and two of its apple suppliers, Sun Orchard and Fowler Farms, has donated Empire apples to Foodlink Inc, which belongs to the food bank network of America's Second Harvest. The apples were sold in five-pound bags. Five percent of the total weight of Empire Apples sold between February 14-19, 2000, was donated to Foodlink, which distributes food to organizations in the greater Rochester NY area.
In order to secure more donations and involve more produce companies, America's Second Harvest began the Pallets for the Hungry Program. The program allows fresh-produce growers and shippers to work together to provide produce for food banks in their regions. Since July 1999, five associations/growers have participated in the program, bringing 750,000 pounds of apples, potatoes, corn, and other produce into America's Second Harvest food bank warehouses. The New York Apple Association secured 80,000 pounds of apples for local food banks.