Francisco “Pancho” Martinez jerked the dump truck forward and out poured a whole bed’s worth of tomatoes, squash, melons and other past-prime produce mashed into a slop Friday morning…
“It helps them out, and it benefits the cows,” Martinez said of his arrangement with Borderlands Food Bank and produce warehouses.
Friday morning at the food bank, Arizona Department of Corrections inmates were hard at work filling the bed of Martinez’s truck with the produce medley. One had the unenviable task of removing plastic wrappers and cardboard from products already tossed into the truck, and his high galoshes were no match for the several feet of salsa-like pulp.
After finishing up the first load, the man took off his boots and emptied them of liquid with a wry smile.
It’s not a pretty process, but Martinez is appreciative, saying: “The guys are very good to me. When I come they always load me first.”
“I would much rather give to the ranchers than go to the landfill,” Soto said.