It is widely known that the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be available to the public, must be stored in special ultra-cold freezers, which has resulted in shortages of this specialized equipment. At Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, it was looking like we weren’t going to be able to acquire one of these freezers until at least April of 2021. Then a miracle happened.
Senior Director of Quality Lori Kelley received a phone call from AgroFresh Solutions, Inc. They were loaning three of their ultra-cold freezers and wanted to know if our clinics had a need.
“I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that their call almost reduced me to tears,” Kelley said.
AgroFresh, a global leader in produce freshness solutions, has a service center in Yakima, and employees there realized they could be part of the COVID-19 response by making available three of their ultra-cold freezers.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic has been working with the agricultural community to perform mass testing. AgroFresh was one of many of the partners that worked with our organization to ensure essential workers are protected, tested, and treated.
“The majority of our valley is considered critical infrastructure and is unable to stay at home or work remotely. This is such a blessing for us. This will enable us to more quickly and efficiently serve our patients and our community,” Kelley said.
These three specialized freezers will alleviate some burden for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and nearby hospitals that have been supporting the state vaccine response. The freezers will be used in Yakima, Toppenish, and Grandview.
“We live and work across the Yakima Valley and consider ourselves part of the local community,” said Paul Nelson, Commercial Director North America for AgroFresh. “We are incredibly pleased to be able to support local agricultural workers and their families and accelerate our area’s ability to reduce the impact of this global pandemic.”
As AgroFresh staff left to deliver the other freezers to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic locations in Toppenish and Grandview, a member of the local AgroFresh team said,
“You know, my parents go to this clinic. My grandparents went here and my family goes to this clinic. It means so much to us to be able to contribute back to an organization that has done so much for the community.”