The WakWay Foundation Along with Don Wakamatsu 
Brought over 280,000 lbs. of Free Fruits and Vegetables into Food Desert Communities

Industry: Non Profit

Phoenix, AZ (PRUnderground) March 28th, 2019

Every Saturday during spring training, The WakWay Foundation, in partnership with the Giumarra Companies, and with the support of a grant from Albertsons/Safeway, brought a free community market to seven different locations including Luke Air Force Base, both Phoenix and Tucson AZ, with one final truck delivering to Dallas TX, for opening day for the Rangers. During this event, volunteers provided free fresh fruits and vegetables to local families. 

“We are excited to have provided seven full semi trucks bringing more than 280,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to Luke, Phoenix, Tucson, and Dallas,” said Don Wakamatsu, WakWay founder and bench coach for the Texas Rangers. “All through spring training, with the help of the Rio Rico FFA, we brought healthy options to local communities.” Each year, more than 72 billion pounds of produce go to waste, and at the same time, millions of Americans live with hunger and food insecurity. The WakWay Foundation and partners are finding ways to elevate the quality of nutrition by saving fruits and vegetables and putting them into the hands of under-served communities. These free community markets were one way that WakWay made that happen. 

To continue The WakWay Foundation’s mission, through a partnership with Triple Crown Sports, 350 teams will be collecting food to distribute food in their communities. “Part of our mission is to teach players how important it is to be great not just on the field, but off the field as well,” says Wakamatsu. 

All locations were open to families until the fruits and vegetables were gone.  “We are already planning next years locations,” said Wakamatsu. “Changing the face of hunger is not just about how much people eat, but what they eat.”


Michelle Truman

O: 800.706-6004

C: 602.418.1811

About the Giumarra Companies 

The Giumarra Companies is a leading international network of fresh produce growers, distributors, and marketers that encompasses a world of freshness. Since its inception in 1922, the Giumarra group of companies has taken pride in a longstanding commitment and tradition of quality, service, and industry leadership to feed the world in a healthy way. The Nature’s Partner brand represents the core of that mission: a partnership with our people, customers, growers, and the land and its fruits. Products packed under the Nature’s Partner label represent some of the highest-quality fruits and vegetables in the marketplace, having met strict standards for food safety, quality control, and flavor. The Nature’s Partner Brand Promise: “We are committed to the people we work with and those we serve. Very simply, we look to provide the best service and work to improve upon it every day.” 

About Rio Rico FFA 

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 is a growing, dynamic school district covering approximately 267 square miles. The district operates five schools. Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled during the 2018-2019 school year. 

Triple Crown Sports 

Our mission statement we include that “we will willingly give time, money, and assistance to communities we are active with, without expectations of return”. Partnering with WakWay is a great avenue to utilize the passion for our mission statement as a company. 

About The WakWay Foundation

The WakWay Foundation mission is simple: Repurposing. Reimagined. The Walkway Foundation impacts lives through innovative food repurposing programs. In addition to redistributing over 280,000 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables into food-desert areas, WakWay works with universities and for-profit companies to create new food innovations out of “ugly” fruit and vegetables and eliminate waste.

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Press Contact

Michelle Truman
(602) 418-1811

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