With Nieuw Amsterdam’s recently canceled cruise that was to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Holland America Line donated as much of the fresh fruit and produce on board to Feeding South Florida so it wouldn’t go to waste. Feeding South Florida is the largest food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, distributing more than 50 million pounds (42 million meals) of food annually to over 700,000 individuals – 240,190 of whom are children and 110,000 are older adults.
The ship donated 11 pallets of fruits and vegetables, and one of our vendor partners — Freedom Fresh — picked up the food from the ship and delivered it to Feeding South Florida. The ship’s Food and Beverage Director Ron van Vliet and Executive Chef Sinu Pillai, along with Holland America Line’s Vice President of Hotel and Food & Beverage Frits Van der Werff, selected all of the produce and got it all loaded onto the truck for delivery.
Feeding South Florida received a wide selection of inventory that had just been loaded for the cruise and would have gone unused. The organization accepted an abundance of vegetables including zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, mushrooms, squash, kale, carrots, eggplant, cucumber and more! Fruits included starfruit, mango, dragon fruit, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwis, strawberries and avocado. Fresh herbs and spices also were delivered, including sage, tarragon, dill, thyme, rosemary and basil.
While we never want to disappoint our guests and impact their vacation plans in this way, we’re happy that all of this food will go to such a worthy organization and provide food to those in need this holiday season.