Bob Spencer, vice president and sales manager of Palmetto, Fla.-based West Coast Tomato Inc., is receiving recognition for helping feed the hungry.

West Coast Tomato VP lauded for anti-hunger effortsSpencer received the Florida Association of Food Bank’s first Feeding Hope award during a March 4 presentation.

In 2009, Spencer joined an advisory board that helped form Farmers Feeding Florida, a food bank association division that works with growers and packers to recover and distribute unmarketable produce to hungry Floridians.

McClure Farms, the growing operation of West Coast Tomato, has contributed almost 2 million pounds of tomatoes to hunger relief causes, Spencer said.

Spencer doesn’t take credit for his efforts.

"It’s really something that is being done every day by everyone in the tomato community and by Florida’s growers," he said. "I was fortunate to be involved in the pilot project. It’s nothing special what we do and everyone is doing it in their own way. We’re just trying to utilize chances to help people by using product we would normally throw away."