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Florida farmers join the fight against hunger 

For a quarter of a century, R.C. Hatton Farms has given back to its South Florida community by helping to feed the hungry.

Working with several organizations, the company each year donates more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce – primarily cabbage, beans and corn.

 “Donating food shows the heart of the agriculture community in that we feed our country and every segment of the population, even those who cannot pay for it,” said Paul Allen, vice president and co-owner of the company.

R.C. Hatton is one of more than 100 Florida farms that participate in the state’s Food Recovery Program, which is administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Farmers participate in the program in two ways. They donate surplus and slightly blemished produce to local volunteer and nonprofit organizations for distribution to those in need.

Farmers also help the program by allowing volunteers to glean leftover produce from their fields rather than turning it under, according to Melanie Mason, food recovery specialist with FDACS.