Ceremonial first apple of 2014 picked with local Feeding America food bank

Local apple shipper celebrates 25th year in business with Grand Rapids charity

Sparta, Mich. – A dozen or so children, their grandparents and staff of the Feeding America-West Michigan Food Bank will pick the first apples of 2014 on Riveridge’s home farm, in celebration of the Sparta-based grower/packer/ shipper’s 25th year in business.

Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., began as a three-person apple sales agency in Grant, Mich.,
25 years ago this fall. Today the company grows 860 acres of apples, represents 117 family-run apple orchards, and sells more than one-third of Michigan’s fresh apple crop from seven different Riveridge-affiliated apple-packing facilities.

What: Harvest of 1st Gingergold apples on “Fruit Ridge” by Riveridge and Feeding America – West Michigan Food Bank

Where: Original Riveridge farm on Wilson Road, ¼ mile west of 8th Avenue, Conklin (Approximately across from 1112 Wilson Rd., Conklin, – look for a cluster of red balloons on the south side of the road)

When: Wednesday, August 27, at 10 a.m.

Site Contact: Melissa Dubridge at (616) 570-4261

Michigan is the nation’s third-largest apple producing state, and nearly 60 percent of the state’s apples are grown on or near Fruit Ridge, which runs through Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties. Riveridge Produce, Inc., is a vertically integrated apple grower/packer/shipper selling apples in about 26 states and a dozen foreign countries.