Stories

Fresh-frozen veggies produced in a flash in Western Mass

Image courtesy of MAPC

The freezer at the (WMFPC) is cranking out flash-frozen, locally-grown, sliced carrots, broccoli, and peppers at a rate and quality that the WMFPC has never seen before. With their Individual Quick Freezer, the Food Processing Center produces 40 pounds of deep-frozen, high-quality produce in five minutes. In a year, WMFPC has the capacity to freeze about 250,000 pounds of locally grown produce. Once frozen, the vegetables are packed and delivered to local schools, hospitals, and other locations.

Picking up just one of their frozen carrot slices, as simple as it looks, connects you to an initiative that is making a significant difference for local growers, area schools and institutions, and for the WMFPC. One of many farm partners, the 300-acre Czajkowski Farm, is growing thousands of pounds of produce for the WMFPC. The WMFPC’s frozen vegetable enterprise is opening new markets and supporting value-added production. The WMFPC is working with large contract food service companies, and frozen vegetables are making their way into hundreds of schools, including UMass Amherst and Boston University. Through these efforts food access is improved, as more individuals dine on dishes made with high-quality, local produce – an experience that some might not otherwise afford.

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