Blaine Hirai, owner and chief executive officer of Hirai Farms, Quincy, Wash., was among those recognized at Seattle-based Food Lifeline’s 13th annual Bag Hunger luncheon in Seattle.

Hirai Farms owner honored for philanthropy

Hirai

Hirai received the outstanding food donor award for his support of Food Lifeline, a hunger relief organization serving the Western Washington area, according to a news release.

Hirai shared the honor, presented Sept. 23, with Kerwin Higashi, senior vice president of the Seattle division of Sodexo. The two men co-chair Vertically Integrated Partnership, a coalition of growers, food processors, food distributors and foodservice companies working to help end hunger in the Pacific Northwest, the release said.

Since 2008, the coalition has donated more than three million pounds of fresh produce and canned goods to food banks in Washington.

“One of the things we are working on is to not only continue doing this, but to do it better and to sustain it for many years,” Hirai said in the release.

Hirai Farms grows potatoes, carrots, onions, corn and peas on several thousand areas in central Washington.

Hirai and the Hirai family also founded in 2005 Annie’s Fun, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children, minorities and the economically disadvantaged. Hirai serves as the group’s chairman.