U.S. Sugar is touting its efforts to help out the Glades farming community during the holidays as it worked to distribute food and toys to families in need.
“COVID-19 has changed quite a bit for everyone, but it has not taken away the joy of sharing the bounty of our harvest with our friends and neighbors in the communities we serve,” said Brannan Thomas, U.S. Sugar’s community relations manager.
“The people of U.S. Sugar are not only focused on growing food crops throughout the year for millions of Americans, but also on giving back to our home communities during the holidays.”
Part of that charity work involved U.S. Sugar transforming its Locomotive No. 148 — aka the “Sugar Express” — into the “Santa Express” earlier this month. That train ran a route stopping in four cities for a toy giveaway in partnership with Toys for Tots. Those stops included Belle Glade, Clewiston, Moore Haven and Port Mayaca.
In November, U.S. Sugar worked with volunteers to give out more than 4,000 holiday turkeys and locally-produced cane sugar to company employees. Local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs also received turkeys. The organizations also distributed close to 5,000 pounds of locally-grown produce to several organizations including churches, local government employees and teachers.
“We are proud to live in these surrounding, close-knit farming communities and raise our families here,” Thomas said.
“As a product of the Glades, I know firsthand how much these community partnerships help support and lift up each other and build goodwill among our neighbors and residents.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting the state, this year’s charity work is particularly impactful for struggling families.
U.S. Sugar was founded in 1931 and recently kicked off its 90th harvest season. A full list of cities and organizations U.S. Sugar assisted this holiday season can be seen below.
— Catholic Charities
— City of Belle Glade
— City of Clewiston
— City of Pahokee
— City of South Bay
— Clewiston Senior Center
— Glades County Sheriff’s Department
— Harlem Community
— Harlem Senior Center
— Hendry County
— New Harvest Church
— Pahokee High School