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P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan, right, and Jason Hayden, owner of Eastern Farms Ltd., hoist a few of the more than 40,000 pounds of P.E.I. potatoes being donated to the relief effort in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria last month. (Photo: Jim Day/The Guardian)

P.E.I. Potatoes Donated to Hurricane Maria victims

The Government of Prince Edward Island and the P.E.I. potato industry are teaming up to provide a tractor trailer load of fresh potatoes to those affected by a hurricane in the United States.

A truck carrying over 42,000 pounds of fresh potatoes left P.E.I. yesterday en route to help feed those in need in Puerto Rico as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

The load will be received at the hunger-relief organization Second Harvest of South Georgia, which is an official storage and redistribution site for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). From there, the P.E.I. potatoes will be included among other relief items and sent to Puerto Rico. Second Harvest also received a full load of P.E.I. potatoes and produce in September for food aid in Florida following Hurricane Irma’s arrival.

“Islanders continue to show their generosity to the world. We are pleased to partner with producers to share our potatoes with those affected in hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico,” said P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan

“Puerto Rico is particularly special to P.E.I., as we have a close and long-term trading relationship with that territory. P.E.I. potatoes have been on the shelves in Puerto Rico for decades, and we want to do whatever we can to help our friends that have been through that devastating hurricane. We would like to say thank to you all involved, including the province, fellow producers, packers and Annear’s Transport who helped make this happen” said Rodney Dingwell, chairman of PEI Potato Board.

The trailer will include 17 pallets of potato donations – from five-pound to 50-pound bags – from growers and packers throughout Prince Edward Island. The Government of Prince Edward Island and Morley Annear Transport will cover the freight costs. It is anticipated the trailer will take approximately two-and-a-half days to arrive in Georgia. The potatoes are expected to reach Puerto Rico within the week.

The list of partners in this initiative include the Government of Prince Edward Island; McKenna Bros,48 Road; Blue Bay Farms, Rustico; Frank & Scott Power, Elliotvale; WP Griffin, Elmsdale; Rollo Bay Holdings, Rollo Bay; McCain Produce, Summerside; Gerrit Visser & Sons, Orwell; Eastern Produce, Pownal; Red Isle Produce, Charlottetown; Morley Annear Transport, Montague.

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