Matson, Pacific Unlimited partner to distribute USDA food boxes

PARTNERSHIP: Matson announced on Friday a partnership with Pacific Unlimited Inc. to distribute commodity food boxes for U.S. Department of Agriculture national food assistance programs. The Matson and PUI teams joined the Guam Department of Education, one of the qualified participants in the program, in loading food donations into family vehicles on May 22 at GDOE’s Piti warehouse. From left, Matson account executive Phillip Santos; Pacific Unlimited Inc. Vice President Michael Limtiaco; Matson regional manager of sales and customer service Tasi Peddicord; and Matson Vice President and General Manager Bernie Valencia. Photo courtesy of Matson

Matson on Friday announced a partnership with Pacific Unlimited Inc. to distribute food boxes for the United States Department of Agriculture national food assistance program, Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program and Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The programs aim to provide support for farmers and ranchers while distributing fresh produce, meat and cheese products to those in need of assistance due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Guam will receive the USDA-funded food items boxed and ready for distribution – 6,500 boxes of fresh fruit boxes weekly along with 4,000 10-pound boxes of frozen meat products and shredded cheese per month. The program will run through June 30 with options for extensions through the end of the year if USDA funding is available, Matson said in a press release.

Pacific Unlimited, the distributor for EKK and Rich Chicks LLC under the USDA program for Guam, selected Matson to be its official refrigeration partner for the program.

Pacific Trucking, part of the PUI family of companies, serves as the logistics and transportation partner that will deliver weekly shipments of food items directly to Matson-provided reefer storage containers.

Qualified nonprofit organizations will identify those in need in the community and will manage the final distribution of the food items. The first community distribution took place at the Tamuning and Dededo mayors’ offices and the Guam Department of Education Piti warehouse on May 18 and will continue every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through June 30.

“When we received the good news that we would become the distributor for Guam, we knew that we had to partner with experts in our community who could help us to quickly and efficiently distribute the food boxes to the nonprofit organizations so they can get it into the hands of those in need," said Michael Limtiaco, vice president for Pacific Unlimited. 

Bernie Valencia, Matson vice president and general manager for Guam and Micronesia, said, “With the unprecedented effects of the pandemic being felt by our local families, Matson is committed to focusing its resources to address our island's most pressing needs. We support this program because it is helping to nourish those in most need.”

Pacific Unlimited confirmed the list of qualified and approved nonprofit organizations that will be receiving the food items, complete with their dedicated refrigeration containers:

· Guam Department of Education

· The Mayors' Council of Guam

· The Salvation Army

· Catholic Social Service Guam

· Sanctuary Incorporated of Guam

· Guam Homeless Coalition.

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