AMC North America, part of South Africa's AMC Group, marked Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July by partnering with Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, New Jersey, to spend a morning of service and citrus donation to help feed the hungry.
The group is one of four major importers of South African citrus during the summer months, when domestic crop is not available.
AMC imports fresh arrivals of navel oranges, Clementines and mandarins, as well as specialty varieties such as Cara Cara oranges and Midknight Valencias from June to October.
In the spirit of South African growers, and in collaboration with Nelson Mandela day, the team at AMC North America wanted to take action a little closer to home.
Cathedral Kitchen is the largest food provider in Camden, where the poverty rate exceeds 40 per cent. Its mission is 'we use food to change lives', and the team at AMC North America was there to witness firsthand its mission in action on the morning of 18 July.
With 67 cases of Navel Oranges to donate – in honour of Mandela’s 67 years of service – the AMC team packed their SUVs and pulled up to the Cathedral Kitchen ready to work, unloading four vehicles full of fresh, sweet oranges, generously donated by AMC’s growing partner Goede Hoope Citrus from Citrusdal, South Africa.
The group was given a tour by Alex Wills, community relations director, which included a behind the scenes peak at how the operation works diligently to feed between 300-500 people every day.
“We are the first 'green' soup kitchen in America, founded by three 20-year olds who just wanted to feed the hungry after hearing Mother Teresa speak,” explained Wills.
While the AMC team got to work, not five miles away on the Delaware River the third vessel from South Africa was busy unloading nearly 5,000 pallets of citrus to go out to grocery retailers across North America.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with Cathedral Kitchen today in honour of Nelson Mandela day," said Casey Ison, director of sales at AMC North America. "It is important to AMC and our entire team to keep a spirit of service and giving back to the community. Today was a beautiful experience that our team will be able to learn from and reflect on for years to come.”