Palm Beach Zoo animals receive produce donation from local farmers

"The donated produce allows us to use our resources on other needed supplies for our animals’ health and wellness.”
Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 17:39:10-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  — The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is receiving donations of locally grown produce to feed its animals.

The donations came from First Produce distributors of Pompano Beach, Pero Family Farms of Delray Beach and from farmers in western Palm Beach County's Everglades Agricultural Area, organized by Zoo partner Florida Crystals Corporation.

The Palm Beach Zoo said in a news release that it's grateful for all the donations.

"The donated produce allows us to use our resources on other needed supplies for our animals’ health and wellness,” said Margo McKnight, president & CEO of Palm Beach Zoo. “I want to sincerely thank the following farms for their important donations to our Zoo: Fresh Point, Pero Family Farms, Pioneer Growers Co-op, TKM Bengard Farms, Roth Farms, Ray’s Heritage, RC Hatton and NK Lago Farms."

Zoologists reported that Doris, the capybara, has a sweet tooth when it comes to corn, and the squirrel monkeys love romaine lettuce.

The Palm Beach Zoo's van is picking up crates full of sweet corn, lettuce, kale and green beans from Belle Glade to Pompano Beach.

"I recently toured the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) with my Leadership Palm Beach County class of 2020 and saw firsthand how many hard-working people it takes to put local vegetables on all of our tables,” said McKnight. “I am humbled by their generosity during our temporary closure due to COVID-19.”

All the produce will be used for the animal's daily diets as well as some treats, and any excess will placed in a freezer for future use, said the zoo.

“Locally grown foods from the EAA have fed our community through good times and bad,” said Caroline Villanueva, Florida Crystals’ South Florida external and community affairs manager. “EAA farmers have been donating fresh produce to children and families during this crisis and, as longtime supporters of the Zoo and its conservation efforts, we are pleased to be able to facilitate a supply of fresh produce to feed the animals.”