Food For Thought: Loffredo and Education

We wouldn’t operate the same without fresh food. Fruits and vegetables are integral to both our physical and mental health. Too often do we take produce for granted, and it can be difficult for people to find access to fresh, local produce at times. This is particularly relevant on school campuses regardless of grade level, as students are often limited to the cafeteria. We believe that students should always have access to fresh produce, which is why we’d like to commend Loffredo Fresh Produce Company for their wide-reaching, long-running mission to supply fresh produce to schools throughout the mid-west.

A History Of Health

 Almost since its inception in 1892, Loffredo Fresh Produce has been providing produce to schools. Founded by Guisseppi Loffredo, the company initially grew, sold, and distributed fresh produce and tobacco to restaurants, hotels, and the military around the Des Moines, Iowa area. Locally focused, all of the products were grown and harvested on the south side of Des Moines. Though it started as a small operation run only by family members, the business continued to grow until it became what it is today.

A Network Of Nutrition

Currently, Loffredo supplies over 1,000 Midwestern schools at all grade levelsthrough their distribution chain. Whether your child is in kindergarten or at a university, there is a chance that you’ll see a glimmering white Loffredo truck bringing fresh, local produce onto campus. This clearly shows their company mission in action. They desire to “Inspire healthier lifestyles and communities by collaborating with our team members, suppliers, and customers to deliver exceptional fresh food solutions.”

Loving Locals

As Loffredo is located in the midwest, they have a shorter local growing season than other areas throughout the United States. In order to work within the community as much as possible, Loffredo provides as many local items as possible to schools during the beginning of the school year, specifically August and September. The majority of these products consist of locally grown tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

A Friend To Chefs

A chief part of their program involves single serve bags of fruits and vegetables, which helps ensure that the option is there for all students. Usually packaged in 4-6oz. portions, they come in a multitude of combinations. For the eternally rushed college student, they provide grab and go cups to universities. These bring preparation for chefs down to a minimum while still bringing fresh produce to their menus.

An Overflowing Basket

Loffredo works on expanding how kids think about produce with their unique offerings. Some of the more unexpected items are single serve jicama sticks, watermelon radish, rutabaga, white asparagus, dragon fruit, lychee fruit, broccoflower, gooseberries, and even starfruit! Many kids may not have been exposed to these exotic fruits and vegetables, so seeing them in their school cafeteria is an experience that is both tasty and educational! They even go a step further as they put together tasting menus based off specialty produce from Harvest Sensations and California Specialty Produce for a select few schools, giving kids to experience new and different produce items.