Sysco Foods Donation Of Fresh Foods Feeds Zoo Animals, Supports Local Food Pantries

By: Follow Local News Staff

Photo credit: Cape May Park/Zoo Facebook page.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. — Sysco Philadelphia, a food delivery service, has donated to the Cape May County Zoo 17 pallets of fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits that could not be used by local restaurants due to the temporary closing of restaurants .

The pallets contained a combination of bananas, strawberries, cantaloupes, lemons, limes, and avocados as well as parsley, tarragon, garlic, squash, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage, and several varieties of lettuce, according to Parks Director Ed Runyon.

“The Zoo dietary staff determined what could be used and cold stored for the animals, once that was done, we realized there were still several pallets remaining,” Runyon said.

The food that the Zoo was unable to use was donated to local food pantries.

“The fact that the Zoo staff was able to pay it forward and distribute fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables to the local food pantries once again, points to the kindness and consideration that is a big part of our Zoo family,” Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the Parks and Zoo, said. “At times like this, we all need to hear stories about the kindness toward others and this fits the bill.”

“We didn’t want to see it wasted and immediately contacted twenty surrounding food pantries, and several came to the Park and picked up the remaining boxes,” Runyon added.

Sysco Philadelphia President Bill Tubbs said that his company supports the local community.

“Sysco is always here to help in times of need, and we’ve stepped up our community support now more than ever during these unprecedented times,” Tubbs said. “We’re pleased to donate a supply of fresh produce to the Cape May County Zoo to help feed the animals and support the zoo’s ongoing conservation efforts. We’re glad we could help.”

Hayes expressed her gratitude to Sysco for their generosity.

“The donation from Sysco Philadelphia to the Zoo was extremely generous and thoughtful,” Hayes said. “We are fortunate to have so many friends and supporters of the Zoo, this donation was a nice surprise. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of the diet of many of the animals at the Zoo and this donation represents a considerable cost saving for the Zoo.”

The Cape May County Zoo is free and depends heavily on donations to support animal care. The Parks and Zoo are currently closed to the public until further notice. Donations to the Zoo can still be made online at

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