Intern Spotlight - Abby visits Produce Packaging Inc. for Innovate Produce Applications

Produce Packaging Inc, or PPI, is a company that has been breaking down, and packaging produce in the Greater Cleveland area for over 20 years. They pack a wide variety of fresh produce year-round for high-end restaurants, value-conscious retail chains, and everything in between. They process products like zucchini and squash noodles, ways to use their imperfect products, and byproducts of their manufacturing to get schools fresh local produce for a lower price. PPI also works with, and shares their space with another local produce distributor, Perfectly Imperfect Produce. Perfectly Imperfect source imperfect produce from local farms and wholesalers and then distribute them to their partners and other customers.

A few of the innovative products they’re looking to bring into schools include vegetable “gnocchi”, a power kale slaw, spiralized vegetable noodles, cauliflower rice, and other prepped veggies made with them imperfect produce. The vegetable gnocchi, for example, use the center of spiralized vegetables like beets, carrots, or sweet potatoes that would have normally been throw away. The middle pieces are then cut into small rounds that replicate a gnocchi shape to create a wholly vegetable dish that is not only fun, but it also decreases food waste, and food costs for schools. By partnering with Pisanick Partners LLC, PPI will be able to get school nutrition programs high quality fresh produce for an affordable price.

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