Produce seller Ripe Revival pivots during COVID-19 pandemic to help farmers and the hungry

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- Among the businesses making a Carolina Comeback during the pandemic is a Rocky Mount company dedicated to making sure that produce farmers don't have to waste any of their crops.

During the pandemic the company, Ripe Revival, has pivoted to home delivery of that produce and other North Carolina farm products while also helping feed the hungry.

Most fruits and vegetables in our grocery store's produce section are unblemished and perfectly shaped.

Fruits and vegetables that aren't perfect often go uneaten and are wasted.

"The ugly truth is that up to 40% of farmers crops are lost, or left in the field each year because they don't have a home for it or because of odd shape, size, or other cosmetic defects," said Ripe Revival's Will Kornegay who founded the company with his sister.

Originally Kornegay used those fruit and vegetable rejects to make protein gummies.

But he and his sister still saw produce going to waste while people were hungry.

"One out of every eight families in the US faces food insecurity and may or may not know where their next meal may come from," Kornegay said. "And that statistic has significantly been compounded by the impacts of COVID-19."
So now there is Ripe Revival Market where you can buy a box of misshapen or blemished produce to be delivered to your home.

As a bonus, hungry people will get fed for free according to Kornegay who said, "We're going to turn around and donate that same box to their neighbor in need to help drive unity through community during this difficult time."

Ripe Revival's home delivery service is a result of a pandemic pivot.

In an attempt to help North Carolina farmers and producers of other goods, the company can now include other products like meats, eggs, snacks, condiments and beverages in their delivery boxes.

"Within weeks we had begun servicing hundreds of members from Raleigh all the way to Wilmington," Kornegay said from his packing plant in Rocky Mount.

Ripe Revival hopes to expand deliveries statewide and maybe even nationwide
"Agriculture is one of the top industries here in North Carolina, and so we're proud at Ripe Revival to be a trusted partner with everyone that works in that industry. It's full of so many professionals that deserve more credit than they get," Kornegay said. "Putting food on people's tables is a really hard feat and it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears."
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